What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It'll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you'll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there's definitely merit to this business idea.
Maybe you’ve always had a knack for repainting old thrift store furniture. Or maybe you’re a gifted musician who could coach other young aspiring talent. Maybe you have a specific education, training, experience or skill that you could develop into a freelance business such as financial planning or graphic design. Whatever your “thing” may be, there are plenty of good reasons to get going.
Here’s how it works: some parents (more than you might think) are incredibly busy with the demands of work. And often, their kids miss out on important skills like learning how to ride a bike, pee in the potty, or throw a baseball. So these busy parents hire a child life coach to fill in; the coach teaches their kids these important skills. You don’t need sterling credentials, and the amounts parents are willing to pay for a quality coach is incredible!

The photo booth business is perfect for any person who likes photography. Whether you’re a photographer, a framer, a painter or simply love taking pictures of others, you can establish a photo booth business to give customers the chance to take their own pictures. Operating a photo booth does take some familiarity with camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The ideal photo booth business owner will also have a solid software foundation. It takes time to hook everything up, but it’s certainly worth the effort when customers are satisfied.


If you love to travel and find yourself frequently searching for airfare sales or browsing sites like Lonely Planet, why not monetize your knowledge as a private travel consultant? Start with friends and family who know they can already count on you for cheap flights and amazing activity recommendations. Ask for referrals and sign up on a site that connects you with travelers, such as Plansify. As a Plansify Travel Advisor, you can start connecting with a larger audience of people seeking your advice. Most registered advisors charge $12 to $30 to answer up to three traveler questions, and $50 to $75 for a one-hour Skype session.
Do you live in a destination where others frequently visit? If you know your city well and enjoy meeting new people, get the best of both worlds by starting your own local tour business. Make it unique like Erik Hormann’s Vantigo, a company that takes you around San Francisco in a stylish VW van, and you’ll be able to command anywhere from $55 to $600 depending on the tour.
Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.

If you’re offering a service, do you need to be licensed and registered for it? Research the product or service you’re going to offer to determine exactly what you’ll need to do according to state law. If you’re going to help people with their taxes, for example, you’ll not only need to be licensed, registered, and bonded in some states, but you’ll also need to carry errors and omissions insurance.
If you’ve got a camera and some basic Photoshop skills, photography can become your side hustle. If you like taking pictures of your city, you can sell your photography to your local publications such as city newspaper or blog. Sites like Foap allow you to sell your phone pictures on their platform and you can earn money with every photo you sell. If you’d rather not make money with your pictures, you can add your photography to products like canvases, t-shirts, and phone cases to make even more money. And if that’s not enough, you can even seek clients to venture into wedding photography, pet photography or product photography.
Thanks Steven. I’m all about fresh air! I run all of my side hustles through an LLC, so I can also take some deductions come tax time. It’s a win-win. I also do my best to pay quarterly taxes on the income, but sometimes really misjudge based on cash flow. I’ve gotten stuck with a few pretty big tax bills, but now I’ve gotten a better handle on it. LLCs are pretty amazing.
Home tutoring allows you to offer individualized lessons to students of all ages regarding any special skill sets that you have. A good home tutoring business is flexible because your students will have very different needs: some are struggling with classes in school, some are studying for college entrance exams, and others may be adult learners who need to master certain skills to benefit their employment.
I’ve actually fielded requests from others looking for people willing to do this, so the demand is out there. To put it simply, some people are willing to pay others to get a vegetable or flower garden started for them in their yard so they can have access to ultra-fresh produce without all the legwork. If you have a green thumb and some knowledge about the vegetables that grow well in your area, this would be an easy business to start.

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.


Although you can still build a niche website around your personal passion, it is typically a more calculated affair. You gear all your efforts towards establishing multiple income sources and earning money rather than getting the satisfaction of following your hobbies and interests. You might be a huge fan of Queen’s music, but if there’s no money to be made off this, you won’t pursue the idea as a side gig.
Have you ever dreamed about writing a best selling book? Well, Amazon’s self-publication platform Kindle Direct lets you do just that. With the right market research you can write your category killing book and sell it to the masses without dealing with the cost and bureaucratic hassles of traditional publishing. The best part is, once you’ve published the book, it will continue to bring in revenue month after month with little effort on your part! People are earning anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $100,000 publishing on Amazon.

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:

×