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.
The book did not disappoint (of course). I love the step-by-step layout of the book with a very specific 27-day roadmap for how to discover your side hustle mission all the way through to launch date and beyond. The advice is practical and down to earth with direction like "launch before you think you're ready and adjust as you go." You can't let perfectionism hold you back if you want a side hustle to be a success. And don't worry if things don't work out the first time, Chris gives you lots of tips on how to evaluate your launch and make changes for the next iteration.
iSecretShop is real mystery shopping. They have a web site and app. Don’t get discouraged with the first few. It’s based on a points system. The more points you get, the better the shops. You have to take a few little ones and work your way up. Another one is Jancyn. I’ve shopped apartment communities, car dealerships, local yogurt/ice cream shops, restaurants, etc.
This blog currently makes over $10,000 per month on advertising and affiliate revenue. If you want to dive deeper here’s more information on how much money you can make blogging. This is money that I have to do nothing to get – readers just reader, they sometimes click, and then sometimes they sign-up or try a service at no cost to them. Here’s a guide I wrote on how to start a blog and make money.
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 struggled with creating spreadsheets to track my progress because it’s the least sexiest thing about blogging (for me, anyways!). But since I started doing it the right way, and checking in to update my progress every Sunday night, I can evaluate what’s working and what’s not. The results have been amazing. I wouldn’t be able to get this type of insight without tracking my numbers.
There's a misconception that keeps those with dreams of owning their own business from following their dreams. It's a misconception that's not only false but dangerous to the small business community. It's not true that every entrepreneur sits in a rundown apartment somewhere in Silicon Valley, eats boxes of cheap mac-and-cheese and stays up all night building the next big startup. Most entrepreneurs aren't living in poverty hoping to someday sign the papers for millions of dollars in funding only to see their dreams become the next worldwide craze.
If you’ve got a camera and some basic Photoshop skills, photography can become your side hustle. If you like taking pictures of your city, you can sell your photography to your local publications such as city newspaper or blog. Sites like Foap allow you to sell your phone pictures on their platform and you can earn money with every photo you sell. If you’d rather not make money with your pictures, you can add your photography to products like canvases, t-shirts, and phone cases to make even more money. And if that’s not enough, you can even seek clients to venture into wedding photography, pet photography or product photography.
Do you love to write? Are you an expert in a certain field? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about? People love the ability to carry knowledge around with them on their phones, tablets, laptops, and Kindles! Making eBooks is an excellent way to get your work out into the world and make a buck on the side. In fact, self-published eBooks account for 22% of all eBooks purchases in the United States (source). In time, writing eBooks could even replace your 9-5, but you’ll need to find a place to market and sell your work where it will get maximum exposure.
Stop driving for Uber and wasting your time. I’ve talked with too many people who tell me that they want to be career Uber drivers, despite that fact that Uber is clearly trying to replace all drivers with robots. Also, I see too many people trying to side hustle on Fiverr and websites where the only way they can compete is on price – essentially offering a commodity product. It is very hard to get ahead in life if you offer a commodity product at a low price.
Do you live in a destination where others frequently visit? If you know your city well and enjoy meeting new people, get the best of both worlds by starting your own local tour business. Make it unique like Erik Hormann’s Vantigo, a company that takes you around San Francisco in a stylish VW van, and you’ll be able to command anywhere from $55 to $600 depending on the tour.
Client-based: These photographers are hired by different clients and charge a certain rate per hour or per session. Their clients range from individuals, couples, families, advertisement companies, fashion brands, travel agencies, schools and corporations, etc. For instance, wedding, portrait, and headshot photography are all client-based business models.
One huge driver of these price increases, of course, is the growth of WordPress and as building websites have gotten easier, more people have been willing to shell out pretty big bucks to get the exact domain they want. I currently own over 800 domains and a vast majority of them have a “Domain For Sale” landing page where visitors can submit an offer to me. I have them all set-up so unless an offer is over $1,000 then I don’t receive the email. So I don’t have to deal with lowballers.
When you’re on the path of frugality, you’ve basically got two options when it comes to padding your bank account: you can either trim expenses to save more money, or you can try to earn more money. Doing both will, of course, greatly increase the chance you’ll achieve your long-term financial goals, whether that’s to pay back your student loans or save up for your dream vacation.
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.
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
Transcription work from home jobs involve listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. While some types of transcription (such as medical) require training, it is possible to break into general transcription with little to no past experience. Before you start digging through the companies below, you may want to read this post about what general transcription involves and this post about the equipment transcribers use.
Once your following becomes large enough you can begin implementing any of the other strategies in this article. You can drop in links to affiliate products, you can market a course, a podcast or even sell a product. The poster child for this model right now is The Hustle – a newsletter geared towards millennials that focuses on the tech space. Sam Parr, its founder, was able to drive 100,000 subscriptions in 5 months and leveraged that audience to create HustleCon, a startup conference for non-techies. During his first year of the conference, he sold 400 tickets and made $50,000.
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.
How can you avoid that? Start a side hustle you can fund through savings -- or better yet, that you don't need to fund. Provide a service that only requires the tools you already have. Sell products you either make or can procure by consignment. Prove to yourself that there is a market -- and that you can serve that market -- before you take on any debt.
Similarly, if you have a particular financial goal in mind, working a side hustle can help you get there more quickly. Imagine you're aiming to buy a home and need $20,000 for a down payment. If your current salary and expenses only allow for $300 a month in savings, and you manage to earn another $300 a month from a side hustle, you'll reach your goal in half the time.
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn't stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
Gig Economy Tip: Platforms like Fiverr are dependent on reviews. If you’re just starting out, pay a friend to buy your gig and review it after you complete the project. This will allow you to have a high star rating which will allow you to get your next few customers. Without a rating, it can be hard for a client to trust you enough to give you your first opportunity.
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.
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
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.
With pet specialty stores and dog-friendly restaurants becoming the new norm, more and more families are embracing the idea of openly expressing their love for their pets. Pet photographers, whether working in teams or as individuals, are there to catch a family’s four-legged loved one in action. Whether at an adoption event, dog show, horse race, or private photo shoot, these moments are captured on film, delivering pet lovers a keepsake they’ll cherish forever.
Your product here is yourself, so prove that you are passionate about what you do, and detail the ways you can help them. Displaying testimonials is a huge selling point for this business. Give potential customers an inside look at one of the programs you offer so they know precisely what they will receive. Clearly state the prices for each service. Make sure to include contact information and encourage any questions they may have.
Because watch repair is very specific, general repairmen may not be fit for the watch repair business. Those who’re experienced with repairing small mechanical items, however, may find watch repair to be incredibly fun. Those who enjoy collecting watches and clocks, too, may enjoy the art of watch repair. As a business owner, a watch repair shop owner will need to have a good handle on management, accounting, and marketing.
It’s one thing to make a few extra bucks on the side so you can go out to a nice dinner or buy a nice pair of shoes, but if you want to walk away as quickly as possible you’re going to need to up your side hustle game. You need to move beyond simply trading your hours for a limited amount of money, and transition to thinking about side hustling as a way to become your own boss and create financial freedom.
If you enjoy working from your laptop, then becoming a virtual assistant may be exactly what you need. We use a few virtual assistants for Money Peach and one of them earns over $10,000 per month as a VA. Other places where you can become a virtual assistant for an agency where they find work for your is Upwork. They take a 10% fee, but 90% is still a great side hustle.
Freelancing can be an excellent way to take your existing skills and channel them in a direction that can generate income. Are you a writer? Consider using freelance writing to fund your startup. Flexible hours, ability to work from anywhere, and virtually no materials needed beyond your computer and internet access—freelancing is a dream side business.
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!