Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your side business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job. It requires way more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. So, let’s talk business ideas.
15 Become a DJ It goes without saying that you need a deep love of music and an extensive collection of tunes before you can even consider DJing, but as much of the work is at evenings and weekends, it could make a perfect side business. Be ready to cater for a range of crowds and musical preferences, not just your passion. Learn the ropes by concentrating first on weddings and birthday parties or by doing roadie work for an established DJ, which will gain you useful contacts.
As you can see, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to start a side business. The 11 ideas above only scratch the surface of the types of side business you can start to make extra money. Plus, who knows? You might even be able to turn your side hustle into a full-time career today. Start small with an equally small investment, and see where it takes you!
Most people, even those many won’t admit it, love moving their bodies. It's also a great workout. If at some point in your life, you had to hang your dancing shoes for a more sensible office job, there's nothing stopping you from earning money with this side business idea as a passion project around your day job. Part-time dance instructors get a fraction of the pie that their full-time peers enjoy, but it can add up to hundreds each week if you're consistent—making for a great side business idea to those with the skills and drive.
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
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!
If you don’t want to offer a full line of meals, why not focus on one thing? For instance, there are plenty of shops on Etsy that sell homemade gourmet cookies (e.g. Earl Gray Sandwich cookies, Cupcakes in a Jar, or gourmet caramels). I’ve been thinking about selling homemade gourmet jam (i.e. home canning recipes) during the summer months. I’ve read of other people who have started a gourmet cocktail catering business, where they come to parties and make gourmet cocktails. Fun!
Thank you for sharing your experiences and the lessons you’ve learned along your way to financial freedom. I’ve recently been introduced to your website, and it’s one of the realest personal finance blogs I’ve ever read for our generation. I do have a question about buying and reselling tickets if you’re willing to share. What website did you use to buy these tickets? I use the most popular one…ticketma$ter, but there’s no option to resell on another website (that 3 click).
A friend’s son was a member of the Chess Club at his elementary school. He spent one day a week after school for an hour, learning how to play chess. His parents paid $40 for 8 weeks of this club. That money went to the leader who was teaching everyone how to play chess. He paid a small rental fee to the school, but everything after that cost was profit for him. This brilliant idea could be a side hustle for you on the weekends or evenings. This entrepreneur offered these services to four different schools, worked just an hour a day and was able to live on the money he made while going to college. This is definitely not limited to chess and could be offered at a local rec center, a church, or the library.  
After you have exhausted your skill set, consider what you may have to offer others. Think about what others want to have done in their life that you are willing to do. Consider all the things people pay for professionally, but would love to save money by paying you a bit less. These 5 examples are awesome in that they come from someone thinking outside the box.
This is a great business for animal lovers who enjoy walking and staying active. It’s ideal for people who prefer lower stress levels, since spending time with pets has been shown to reduce stress. Those who are compassionate and responsible, yet prefer to work alone and be their own bosses as well as make their own schedules thrive in this type of business.
While I recommend you start with one side hustle at first so you don’t spread yourself too thin, because you are your own boss, you can test out a lot of different side hustles to find one you really love and/or that makes you the most money. That’s the beauty of side hustling – you aren’t stuck with any idea. Use every opportunity to learn, build new skills, and make new connections. You can’t even begin to imagine the doors that will open as you explore new ways to make money.
Taking the Internet by storm, dropshipping is an eCommerce model that allows online entrepreneurs to open online shops without any upfront investment. The basic idea behind this concept is that you find a profitable product idea, set up an online store and partner with a supplier who handles the inventory, packing, shipping, and returns for you. You don’t need to buy the products in advance – once you receive an order online, you pass the request to your supplier and take a cut on the margin. It’s a passive income technique that has a lot of potential and has already made many online entrepreneurs richer than they ever expected to be.
I started this blog in February of ’08 simply as a hobby, and two years later it became my full-time “job.” when I realized there was money to be made (a total fluke that I jumped all over!) Now, 4 years after that, here we still are and having the time of my life. So you really never know what opportunities are around the corner when you start hustling. But you do need to grab them when they cross your path.
If you’re not familiar, podcasts are essentially self-published talk shows. The audiences tend to be extremely engaged and it’s one of the best outlets for networking that I’ve ever seen. The engagement also makes it one of the best marketing channels out there right now. Many podcasters are reaping the benefits, with some like John Lee Dumas bringing in $2,000,000+.

Whoa. Epic list! I love the Chick-fil-a cow mascot :) Makes me think of all the side hustles I’ve had… my favorite was when I used to introduce myself as a commissioned painter and ended up closing a few deals that way. When I got to the point where I was painting portraits of people’s dogs that had passed away, I realized that I no longer enjoyed what I did :P


This is a great business for those who enjoy interacting with people while treasure-hunting for bargains at flea markets or estate sales. Those who have a talent for finding bargains and negotiating prices can transform that talent into a successful resale business. It’s also a good choice for recycling enthusiasts who want to save usable items from landfills and help conserve natural resources. Community-oriented people who want to help provide necessities for low-income residents at reduced prices are also good candidates for this business.

Be sure to consider your concept thoroughly, to test it out among friends and family members, and to secure their business as well. Be organized, commit to your plan, and hold yourself accountable. Remember, you’re your own boss in this endeavor, and need to discipline and commend yourself accordingly. And last of all, if you don’t succeed the first time around, try, try again!
Counted amongst the most valuable tech giants, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea. But, like everything else that involves money, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. In this case, you need to do tons of research (looking for generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to) as well as developing a sensible inside sales strategy that'll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. For an incredible deep dive on how  to launch this kind of business idea, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.
If you already have a sizable Instagram following, or a knack for getting followers, you could be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses with products and services your audience may be interested in. Take 25-year-old Liz Eswein for example, who charges a fee to brands for taking the photos she posts on her account @NewYorkCity, and an additional $1 per like on top of that. Not bad, considering most of her photos get well over 20,000 likes.
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that'll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice.  Then once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, according to CNBC.
If you have marketable skills as a developer, designer, or online marketer, there's an online audience who’d be willing to pay for your expertise, in order to become experts, too. Start by testing your way into the market on Udemy or Skillshare, where there’s already an existing audience for career-related courses. As you build your brand, aim for teaching on higher-visibility online education platforms like CreativeLive.
Anyone who has been able to achieve their own goals and would like to help others may be well-qualified to be a life coach; however, there are courses available to teach coaches the most effective strategies to use with clients. Coaches typically have strong interpersonal skills, as the success of a life coaching business depends entirely upon the business owner’s ability to connect with and assist other people.
Forget content marketing, video is the new king. Creative and video agencies charge gazillions of dollars for high-end production, so there’s a lot of demand for budget services. If you know your way around video editing software, this is a great opportunity to make some extra cash. Combine this skill with a voiceover service and you have the beginnings of a promising online venture. Many businesses and private clients are looking for video editors on freelance marketplaces, such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Freelancer, but you can also get extra exposure and generate profit by setting up a YouTube channel and creating some value-driven video content.
Another option for earning a side income is to deliver for PostMates. Similar to working for Uber and Lyft, you can work whenever you want. While the pay might not be enormous, you do have the ability to earn tips. If you're in a highly-trafficked area such as Los Angeles or New York City, this is a great way to earn some cash and you don't even need a car.
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
If sales and marketing isn’t your forte you can use a platform like Upwork or Freelancer.com who have large active audiences already looking for your skills. The kicker there is that these platforms tend to take a significant cut of your fees. If you want to keep 100% of your dough you can handle the sales process yourself and start by reaching out to local businesses or focus on a specific niche.
Gardening is a popular pastime for many people, and a growing segment of the population is working to grow fruits and vegetables of their own. If you have a green thumb, this might be the perfect side business idea for you. First, decide what kinds of gardening supplies you will be selling. Do you want to stick with seeds, plants, plant food, and fertilizer; or are you interested in selling equipment such as shovels, rakes, and hoses?
Next you will want to create and display your pins. The Selz store builder makes it easy to show off your work, while the stylish web design options will help your store to stand out from the competition. You can choose to sell hard enamel pins or soft enamel pins, or both if you desire. In the beginning, though, it’s generally best to choose one or the other to avoid being overwhelmed.
It’s also important that other people are already doing it because that means there’s a market for it. Your side hustle needs to be profitable – it has to make money. There is no point in starting a business that won’t be profitable. So, make sure there is a market for it. People mistakenly think that because an area already is filled with people making money that it’s too saturated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. That just means there’s money to be made in that space.
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."
I know of a guy who started out as a handyman. He then took that idea as a handyman and started his own blog to teach people how to fix things themselves through blogging and video tutorial. At the end of every post or video, he would tell you what tool he used to get the job done and would provide a link directly to Amazon for you to purchase that product.
For instance, if you need a website, why not contract with the tech guy from your day job? Need an accountant? Someone in the accounting department may need income on the side. However, make sure they understand to keep the work separate from their day job, just like you do, and that they’re working for you on a contractual basis. Your agreement should be professional and incorporate a timeline. You should also receive a work order or receipt just as you would from any other contractor.
There isn’t one way to bootstrap your business—and this can be both a positive and a negative. Bootstrapping can offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to be flexible, creative, and fund their business on their own terms. It often results in cobbling together a variety of revenue streams in order to establish a solid financial platform to get a business going. However, this can also be a risky, unstable endeavor, which is a potential downside to consider.
I live in an apartment complex, and there is a husband and wife team who do valet trash pickup outside everyone’s door 3 nights a week. We have to take our trash to the compactor ourselves on the other days of the week, but on those 3 nights it’s very nice to just put it outside our door! They just have a pickup truck & when it’s full they drive to the complex compactor to unload all of it then head back to the next building. It takes them 2-3 hours. The cost is figured into our rent so they are paid by the apartment complex. Smelly but nice side gig!!
×