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.
CHRIS GUILLEBEAU is the New York Times bestselling author of books including The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, and The Art of Non-Conformity. He is also the founder and host of Side Hustle School, a daily podcast with more than 2 million downloads per month. During a lifetime of self-employment and side hustling, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday.
That prob helps, yeah :) Also if you hustle hard during holidays and weekends and rush hours, at least from what I’ve read… I’ve never tried it as I’m always glued to my online hustles, but if you could actually do both at the same time that would be even better! Haha… Just bring a laptop and wifi hotspot with you while you’re waiting around town :)
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.

This business is perfect for seasoned business owners or upper level managers who are looking for a career change. A business consulting firm must be experienced in business management, marketing, and team building and management. They must also understand how to generate revenue from a wide range of businesses and expand existing streams of income.

As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.
If that isn’t enough, you can expand your services to include pet grooming as an extra side business idea. To do that, you'll need to have relevant training, an operating license depending on your location, and pet grooming equipment. According to PayScale, pet groomers have an average salary range of $17,600 to $48,500. Not bad as a side business  idea if you can find a way to get in most of your clients on the weekends.
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.

If you’d rather trade time for money you might choose to get a part-time job. Side jobs to make money include: dog walking, babysitter, restaurant server, receptionist, administrative assistant, or barista. You can also find part-time jobs within your industry. Maybe you’re a full-time marketer who takes on a part-time social media gig. The only downside to a part time job is that you need to invest your time for money. And time is your most valuable luxury. Part time jobs don’t scale as well as an online business would. Meaning, your total earnings get capped.


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.
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.
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.
Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?

This business is perfect for seasoned business owners or upper level managers who are looking for a career change. A business consulting firm must be experienced in business management, marketing, and team building and management. They must also understand how to generate revenue from a wide range of businesses and expand existing streams of income.


Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that's a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin's story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.

This business is right for those who enjoy learning about technology and the challenge of restoring damaged items to like-new condition. Professionals in this business help conserve natural resources while helping customers preserve treasured photos and online communications as well as valuable software and digital content such as games, books, and music.
This business consists of an individual, or a team, who are hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale. The purpose is to attract potential buyers who view the property online. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate industry, the demand for quality property photos is elevated and perpetual. Proper lighting and point of view helps a property stand out above the competition, driving potential buyers to view the property.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ's, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who's doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you're ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
OK, so I am guessing Grant was a lot like me in that very early on his goal was financial independence. I pursued a different strategy but was also very motivated. I worked for a Fortune 100 company, earned my undergraduate and MBA at night and on the weekends. I maxed out my 401K and collected all the free money that I could. I had some great jobs and traveled the world. I retired at 56 and have been enjoying life and my freedom ever since. It will always require dedication and hard work but if you want it you can earn it. But not everyone is driven and if you are not you will never achieve your goals. I am writing this while I am in Sao Paulo, Brazil one of the great foodie cities in the world, and I bet you didn’t know that either. But I know because I travel a lot!
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.[13]
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.
Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?
If you enjoy graphic design and love creating unique pieces of art, then this side business idea could be perfect for you. You will need to work with a range of color palettes and use different fonts to your advantage. Look into providing your services for weddings, business events, parties, and really anything that needs professional, eye-catching invitations.
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:
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