Create a formal business structure. Even if you're just starting a side business that you don't think will ever grow large enough for you to quit your main job, you still need to treat it as a serious business and follow the necessary formalities to keep it separate from your personal income and assets. In the United States and many other countries, you have the option of organizing your side business as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a sole proprietorship.
Let’s say that your friend has a product. They want to sell a million units on their website but there’s one little problem…They have ZERO idea how to market online. Being the digital marketing guru that you are, you offer to help drive traffic to your friend’s product on the condition that he pays you 2% of each sale that you influence. That is affiliate marketing.
Those who have experience in HR and a thorough understanding of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will do well. You will need a certain amount of people skills to attract clients, but the results will matter far more than how friendly and personable you are. If 90% of your clients find a job in their field after paying you a visit, these numbers will speak for themselves.
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.
Sometimes typos can be funny, but most of the time they’re simply embarrassing and damaging to the brand. As long as we’re consuming written content, editing and proofreading will remain a highly-needed and often well-paid skill. If you have an eye for detail and a keen interest in reading, this might be a perfect side business idea for you. In fact, a great number of digital nomads have been funding their world travels entirely through picking up freelance editing and proofreading jobs. So sharpen your pencil and help to make the world a grammar-friendly place!
It’s funny that you put baking of all things on this list. I’d often considered the idea of baking cookies and things and selling them on Facebook garage sale sites and things like that – until I made Christmas cookies last week and found out how difficult it is. Let’s just say it gave me a healthy appreciate for the people who make all the tasty desserts I regularly enjoy!
Photography Tip: If you plan on selling your photography on a stock photo site, it’s a numbers game. The more pictures you take and upload, the better chance you are to be found. You’ll need to make sure you use the right tags so that people can easily find your photos. The more pictures you take, the faster you’ll develop your photography skills over time. So it’s an all around win.
If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
If you plan on launching an eCommerce startup, eBay is also a great way to test the waters with your business idea. Before launching his vintage T-shirt business Defunkd, James Applegath sold his vintage tees on eBay, as a way to determine if there was a market for the business. “EBay and other marketplace platforms are an excellent way to test how your business will perform prior to launching a startup,” he says, and adds that the funds you generate through this avenue will also help you in starting your business.
As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes. You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.
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.
Okay, so you won't make money that fast with a blog. But, if you start a blog and deliver enormous amounts of value, you could set yourself up with a platform for ending a tremendous amount of passive income. This is something you can easily build on the side with just a few hours of work per week, but you need to stay consistent and post great content regularly.
This is probably the side hustle I have the most fun doing. I have been buying and selling both VW Campers and mopeds since I was in college. While I sell a lot more mopeds that VW campers, but when I find a good camper deal I don’t hesitate. I love VW Westfalia Campers from the 1970’s and 1980’s and have owned 2 over the past 10 years. They have gone up a ton in value over that time, but you can still find deals on them locally.
Ownership of a live band usually includes the actual musicians. Owners generally have a passion and instinct for music, a great deal of energy and motivation, and a talent for crafting a group style and sound that appeals to audiences. In addition to their performance skills, live band owners must be able to sell their services to booking managers at venues and to the audiences who watch them perform.
Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them. To help, here’s a list of 50 business ideas you can begin building as you continue plugging away at your 9-to-5.
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea. My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is actually my current side business idea, and because I had an existing audience here on my blog at the time I launched the show, I was able to broker a $5,000 sponsorship from Freshbooks to place ads on the first ten episodes before I even got started.
I already know what you’re thinking when you read that title, ‘Here comes another one of those get rich quick scams. I don’t blame you. Most titles that begin the way tend to lead to some ebook or sales page. But what I’m about to reveal to you is totally legitimate and involves nothing more than speaking your mind. No I haven’t lost mine! Just be patient.
With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome's marketplace, there's a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup's core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you're browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.