Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it's not a guaranteed business idea that'll turn a huge profit every weekend.
What are your skills, what is your knowledge base, and how can you channel your areas of expertise into revenue-generating side businesses? A great side business is one that allows you enough flexibility to pursue your dream startup, while still bringing in a sufficient revenue stream. Maybe, like Lori Cheek, you can sell unwanted items on eBay while also renting out a room via Airbnb, or follow Joseph Howard’s example and keep your corporate job while offering freelance services.
Do you have good writing skills and the ability to build a reputation for yourself within a specific industry? Then launching a blog could be an ideal side business for you. Once you have a regular audience of readers, you'll have countless options about how to monetize your site with ad support, your own e-books, online courses, sponsored content, and personalized consulting services.
You will want to research your shopper and go in with a very clear sense of your target audience. Are you looking at hip, young parents; or excited grandparents? Will your products be cute, funny, or simply stylish? Narrow down exactly what you want to sell, then market your online store hard. Getting shares and testimonials from happy customers will be huge.
Get a tax ID number. If you're starting your side business in the US, you need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business from the IRS, even if you don't plan on having any employees. You typically need a separate tax ID for your business in most countries if you want to keep your side business legal and above-board.
If you're toying with the idea to pad your income with a side job, this book is a decent start. It gives you some suggestions about what to do, links to further resources (often other Nolo books), and some good tips on topics as diverse as marketing or how to deal with various types of business people, including lawyers. I went through the book easily and found it well- written and understandable.
I have been considering trying number 5, baking cookies and desserts for people. I have a huge sweet tooth so its already something I like doing. I just wonder how much time this would consume and how much money someone could actually make. I could put an ad online or in the paper and offer to bake goods for parties and events. Maybe one day I’ll actually try it.
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you're looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).
The most important lesson here is not to leave too early. Take it from someone who got all excited about her income potential and left a great job she probably should've kept working for a few more months. You not only want a healthy amount in savings for the transition, but you want to have a business that makes close to your same level of full-time income.
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.
Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
Did you major in a subject like English, history, or math in college, or do exceptionally well on the SAT exam? Do you have patience with children? If so, you likely have what you need to tutor kids in particular subjects. Seek out parents or teachers and let them know that you tutor students in a certain subject, and offer materials for them to share, and phone calls will often trickle in. You can get going locally or expand across the country by offering to tutor online.
If writing is something you put down as one of your passions, it can definitely work. The first step in this long journey is to discover your niche – a specific theme or topic that most of your content will focus on. The three really broad but most profitable niches are money, relationships, and health and fitness. You can, of course, choose to write about anything that excites you – whether it’s walking as a hobby or upcycling. Just keep in mind that the niche you select needs to be narrow enough to keep your writing efforts focused on building authority and, at the same time, broad enough to capture the interest of a large audience.
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.
Great list…a few are a bit humorous. Nevertheless, side money is still side money. An I am a firm believer that everyone should have something they do on the side. From my own personal experience, having something on the side helps takes the pressure of the main income source (both mentally and financially). If all you have is a single source of income, and if for whatever reason that source of income is threatened, the news is almost always devastating and life changing.
This business is great to run as a side business due to the lack of additional preparation needed and the great flexibility is holds. If you already speak a foreign language fluently and have a good, encouraging personality, you already possess the tools needed to find success in this type of business. In addition, you can run this business out of your own home or even a public space, as long as you have permission, and you can offer lessons at times that are best available to you. This means that regardless of your other obligations, you can make a foreign language instruction business work for you.
With dropshipping, you can start a business within any of your favorite passions. Do you love decorating your home? You can sell home decor products. Maybe you’re obsessed with fashion. You can start your own fashion store. If you love doing your makeup? You can sell beauty products and build an audience who follows along to your makeup tutorials. Almost any niche can be pursued with dropshipping. Plus, if you’re a creative type, you can run wild with your ideas. After all, as the owner of your own business, you’ll always have final say. Making this a great side hustle to start out with.
I am very skeptical of most MLMs (#55) but I really like the model of Melaleuca. This is an MLM that does not require any purchasing of items to sell upfront like most MLMs. Money is earned by enrolling others in their online shopping club and receiving a monthly commission on their purchases. Plus there are plenty of monetary and product incentives for enroller and customer. The products are great, ‘green’, non toxic items that replace what you are already buying at stores (cleaners, bath and body, vitamins, shampoo, weight loss, etc.). Check it out for yourself and as your side hustle business!
This is the BEST list that I have seen in a long while. I have so many tabs open from clicking on these links! I am a current high school senior but I’ve been side hustling practically my entire life, from lemonade stands and my childhood “art” to selling on Ebay, and pretty soon, on Etsy. This list gave me some great ideas and advice and I can’t wait to put them into practice!