This article is excerpted from U.S. News money senior editor Kimberly Palmer’s book, “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” which was released this month. Copyright © 2014 Kimberly Palmer. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved
Are you an accomplished instrumentalist or vocalist? Have you played in a band or a symphony? Even if you just play as a hobby, selling music lessons online can be a great way to help people explore their passions and make yourself some money on the side. Parents often seek out professionals to help their children learn how to play a specific instrument, and virtual music coaches are becoming more and more popular.
The first obstacle everyone encounters when starting a side hustle is the idea. There have been a lot of articles published with “business ideas you can start this weekend.” The problem is, these “business ideas” consist of things like delivering groceries, babysitting, getting a minimum wage job or even becoming a barber (I kid you not, that was a real suggestion). Those are all incredibly lame options!
The demand for dolls has fluctuated over time, but they do continue to withstand the test of time. A custom doll maker will handcraft dolls for clients based on either public demand or personalized requests. For example, they may create dolls that reflect current pop culture or political icons, or they may handcraft dolls that resemble the client who ordered it.
To found their floral startup BloomNation, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar, and Gregg Weisstein used a rather unorthodox funding source—the poker business. The three pooled their money to enter David, a former World Series of Poker champion, into a local poker tournament. He won, ultimately raising $30,000, which the trio used to help start BloomNation.
Don’t leave the house without your camera? People love the style and feel of your images? It’s time to put a price tag on this hobby! One of the easiest ways to earn passive income online is to start selling your photos on sites like Shutterstock and iStock Photo. With visual content on the rise, the demand for unique photography is growing rapidly, so don’t miss out on this side business idea. If you own more gear than just a professional camera, you could also consider hunting for headshot or wedding photography gigs. If you start out by offering your services for free to your friends, you’ll be able to test your abilities, build a portfolio and get some free word-of-mouth advertising in no time.
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that's what I love most.
It's a frightening statistic that nearly half of U.S. adults don't have the cash on hand to pay for a $400 emergency. That's what the Federal Reserve Board discovered when it surveyed a wide range of working Americans. Furthermore, according to a Pew study, more than 50% of households say they don't have enough savings on hand to cover a full month of expenses. And that's just playing with fire.
Etiquette training gives lessons to people of all ages on the proper way to conduct oneself in a variety of settings, especially in the professional world. Etiquette can cover how to act in both international and domestic settings, from a formal dinner in Japan to a debutante ball in Georgia. As globalization becomes more common, these types of lessons can be invaluable for many companies and professionals. Etiquette trainers may give online lessons or in-person lessons, depending of their budget and location. The instructions may be anything from cell phone etiquette for teenagers to the best way to send a thank you letter after a job interview.
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Selz includes the option to link your online store to your blog and social media accounts. By connecting all of these sites, you can drive traffic to your store and sell more workout plans. Selz also allows you to upload videos along with your photos, which can be be a great way to feature short, visual samples of your workouts plans and the different exercises you recommend. Customers want to see what you do, and this is the perfect way to show them.
This is a wonderful business for gardeners, tree aficionados, stay-at-home workers, and lovers of miniature objects. Business owners can start off selling starter plants to earn a living while they grow two to five-year-old trained bonsai trees for a larger income. It's a great opportunity for someone who doesn't have a lot of space to work with. This is also a great opportunity for someone to combine their growing skills with their Internet sales skills.
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?
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).
A photo editing business specializes in editing or retouching existing photos for clients. These services may range from simply cleaning up blemishes or lighting issues all the way to complex Photoshop work. Such a business is a major part of any community because of the constant need to have good-looking photos for publications, seasonal cards, social media profiles, and more.
This job is primarily successful for those who already use eBay extensively. At the end of the day, eBay is like any other market, and success requires being competitive in a market filled with other sellers. As such, being familiar with how other sellers price and describe similar products to your own merchandise will help you hit the ground running when you begin selling. The business is also ideal for those who enjoy a flexible schedule and are motivated self-starters.
You can sign up for free at Rentafriend to be someone else friend both part-time and full-time with pay between $20/hr – $50/hr. Yes, this sounds very strange from the outside looking in, but a lot of times you are helping someone get acquainted in a new town, meet a new group of friends, or simply have a cup of coffee with. Most importantly – friendship is always platonic (no touching).
In the last few years, I’ve created online courses, launched a self-published book (under a fake name—not proud of this one), done marketing consulting, launched an email course, Airbnb-ed my apartment, traded stocks, bought cryptocurrency (my best investment to date), bought a condo and put it on Airbnb, wrote a book (a better one), bought a business, put affiliate links on my site, given paid talks, written book summaries, and built an affiliate site for a basketball dribbling course I never took (also not proud of this one).
Actually I brought my Son N Law with me to work the Men’s Restroom AND HE Always made more money than me! That’s because Men always have their wallets on them and sometimes Ladies are “on a Date”..Ladies Night and get drinks free and didn’t bring cash..etc..Men need breath mints combs nice smelling colognes..Offer a hand towel and Smile and give personal service. Know the regulars by name! Bigger Tips!