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:
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn't one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
Who doesn’t love a good t-shirt? This is one of our favorite online side business ideas, because you have the opportunity to be as wildly creative or tactfully simple as you want. Start out with a specific niche and build your business from there. When you have a sense of your personal niche, sketch out some designs (if you already have them, great!), decide the type of material you want to use for your shirts, and have your branding implemented.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he's running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
Everyone that buys a painting or has a nice photograph or a portrait made of their family may also need to have that work framed. Framing requires a specialized skill set that includes having craft-person talents, the ability to do simple carpentry, to know how to safely run a table saw, and have a good eye for pleasing aesthetic designs. You will need to understand color combinations and how to make a painting or a photo nicely framed to fit in well with the intended surroundings.
Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.
Says Abbey Finch, who used freelance writing to help fund her startup Scribe Space, “I also surprisingly got a lot of luck using Craigslist and Odesk to find new work. I did everything from writing for a local, free newspaper covering town council meetings to writing how-to guides for eBay. I’ve written for lawyers, doctors, home improvement specialists, a wedding band, and so much more.”
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I've shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.
Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you're an expert at something, there's likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. If you want to take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you've achieved in your life, career, or business, start with How to Create an Awesome Online Course on Udemy, where instructor Miguel Hernandez covers how he makes over $90,000/yr teaching online. You'll learn from more than 8 hours of video instruction.
Like many of these side business ideas, selling sunglasses is a business you can start by hand-making your own product or outsourcing production to a company. You will need to decide on your niche- do you want to sell a certain kind of glasses, a certain brand, or just a style that speaks to you? Once you’ve settled on this, you will need to market hard.
Many people’s interest in music goes beyond just listening to it. A lot of people who enjoy listening to it are also interested in learning how to play an instrument. A music lessons business gives novice musicians a way to learn to play an instrument, and it provides more seasoned musicians with advanced training to help them improve their musical abilities. A business may offer private or group lessons in home or classroom settings.
If you enjoy making pottery, or just jove using it for creative decor, you could turn this passion into a nice side business idea for yourself. First, narrow down what type of pottery you will sell. Do you want to sell functional outdoor flower pots, or decorative indoor items? Remember, you can always expand your niche later when you are more established.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it'll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
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.