This step is more for someone who does online writing/blogging as their side business. For bloggers, a content calendar is a godsend and is something you should be doing every month (in my opinion.) If you run a small business or online store, calendars can help you complete priority tasks, keep up with email marketing and social promotions. Even if you don't blog, you need to have some type of calendar for all of the marketing activity you're doing to, well, market your business.
As a freelance writer, you are largely in control of the amount of work you do and the time you put into writing. Whether you use an online writer platform or another system for getting clients, you have a say in the number of pieces that you do, and, as long as you meet any deadlines set for you, you can work on these pieces whenever you have time. Therefore, it is easy to successfully manage a freelance writing business on the side of whatever else you spend time doing.
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.
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.
Even if you have an income stream that makes up to 90% of the money. When working for yourself, you'll need something different for that other 10%. This not only provides an outlet for creativity but diversifies your income in the event something happens with that primary revenue source. Again, this may not work for everyone but for ME and MY EXPERIENCE, being able to branch out into other ways of making money besides freelance writing made my time as a solopreneur a lot more bearable.
A jam business makes different flavors of jams and jellies, which are packaged into jars for distribution. Businesses may sell their jams to customers directly, or they might sell to retailers. These spreads are put on toast, used in cookies and cakes, and incorporated into many other foods. Jam businesses make different flavors of jams and jellies, which are sold to customers either directly or through retailers.
The problem with traditional conferences is that they can be super expensive to run. You need to rent the venue, buy the catering, pay the speakers, hire event staff – those costs add up fast. What if there was a way to host the conference without all of the unnecessary costs? Well, a few smart people figured out that by running the conference virtually you effectively mitigate all of the expenses allowing you to discount ticket prices while still turning a profit and delivering massive value to your audience!
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It'll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you'll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there's definitely merit to this business idea.
Does your job offer you the flexibility and adequate revenue to help you fund your startup? If so, you might be set. While you can certainly supplement your income by combining your day job with one of these side businesses, consider thinking of your full time employment as a means to an end, and focusing any extra income after living expenses into your startup.
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.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
Look specifically for how your competition built their side hustles. Use Google, Pinterest, and Amazon for this. Try to find out exactly what they did, or take a look at their websites and analyze their business models. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Of course, you’ll make it your own – you’re not stealing anything from them. But everyone learns business from everyone else (something this took me a long time to learn). So, take a nod from the best in your niche and start there to research how you can start your side hustle.
To found their floral startup BloomNation, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar, and Gregg Weisstein used a rather unorthodox funding source—the poker business. The three pooled their money to enter David, a former World Series of Poker champion, into a local poker tournament. He won, ultimately raising $30,000, which the trio used to help start BloomNation.
Can you draw, paint, or create another form of art that others would be willing to purchase? Create a Facebook or Etsy store to create works of art commissioned in your preferred medium. I know someone who draws Valentine’s cards, Christmas cards, and even birthday invitations for extra money for her family. With that money, she helped fund an international adoption. Another friend draws beautiful portraits of babies and children from pictures that are sent to her.
All you have to do is create the product, upload it to your custom website, and let people know you are selling eBooks on your new online store! Marketing your online store and building up a consistent flow of traffic will create buzz as your customers pass the word along about how good your store looks, and how helpful your eBook content is. With a little elbow grease, you’ll increase traffic, downloads, and start making money on the side.
Though certainly not for everyone, recycling the containers from products left strewn around on the ground can become a surprisingly decent side business idea if you put in the time. Attending events like street fairs and outdoor concerts can be a great starting place. Put on a clean shirt, jeans, apply your sunscreen, grab a cheap pick-up tool like this one, sturdy plastic bags, and you can sell them for upwards of $4.00/pound on eBay.
Imagine this scenario: You’re at work and a customer from your side business calls your personal cell phone. He has a problem with a product you delivered the night before and needs you to fix it immediately. If you don’t, he’ll refuse to pay for it and you’ll have to eat the expense. But you also have a project that’s due in a few hours at work that can’t be late. What do you do?
An effective social media strategy that’s focused on attracting new prospects and nurturing leads can take a lot of time to develop and implement. Let alone all the automation, optimization and engagement tools and tactics that a good social media manager needs to master. So while the majority of business owners will strive to have a presence on social media channels, only a few will know how to get the best ROI and tie their social media efforts to the bottom line. Tapping into this need and helping businesses manage their social media accounts could turn out to be a very profitable side business idea.
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible of the non-phone options, and it's an easy field to break into without any experience at all! This is also an industry that can pay well, especially if you forgo content sites (such as the ones below) and work on finding private clients that will agree to the rates you set. The content sites don't pay that well, but they can still help you get valuable writing experience and earn a weekly paycheck.
For example, you can promote yourself as someone who is available when others usually aren’t – after regular business hours and on weekends. Get your clients used to your schedule by listing your hours on your business cards, stationary, website, and voice mail. If they know in advance not to expect a return call until after five, they won’t be irritated when it happens.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you'll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
Just by owning a DSLR camera or having access to renting one that's affordable, you can charge friends and local professionals for new headshots, which can be a very effective side business. Many successful photographers started out by shooting on the side and building up their portfolio of work, thereby establishing a local reputation enabling a launch of their own photography business.
Have a good understanding of how search optimization works? Put those skills to use. SEO consulting is booming and many online businesses are prepared to pay handsomely for expert advice and actionable tips that can help increase traffic and revenue. Many businesses take to Google when looking for a SEO consultant, so your first challenge is to establish a solid online presence and get your own website ranked high in the search results. Have a look at Gareth Bull’s website to get a better idea of what services you could offer and become a certified Google partner to get free access to a host of free training resources and promotional offers.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
If you keep your money hidden in the attic or earning close to nothing in a savings account, you might want to consider putting it to better use through smarter investing as your side business idea. Sure, there are plenty dangers to look out for, but most personal finance experts will advise you to start learning about the stock market if you want to grow your wealth, and to avoid jumping too heavily into trends like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without proper understanding.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
Cycling is a popular sport in the United States, with people regularly using bikes for fun, exercise, and transportation. In 2015 alone, 17.4 million bikes were sold in the country. As bikes are used, they occasionally break down -- and most people aren’t well-versed in repairing bicycles. A bike repair business fixes and refurbishes bikes for customers when their rides break down.
If you think you’re busy now, wait until you have a company to run. Even side businesses take up loads of time, especially in the beginning stages when you are just setting up your systems and trying to attract customers. You’ll be working after your day job during the week and most likely on weekends too. This will limit the time you have for your family and personal relationships. Think carefully about the time commitment and consider what it will take to start your business.
Crafts are a great way for parents to entertain their children and encourage them to be creative, but it’s not always easy to come up with new projects in the moment. Selling templates of images that children can trace or attempt to draw on their own can be a fun side business and a popular product. You can put together themed template-books, along with guides that teach children how to make various types of crafts.
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!
Consulting is another area in which you can make use of your existing skills. Diana Melencio spent eight years working on Wall Street, and later used her financial background to her advantage, working as an independent financial consultant. This side business enabled her to follow her passion and to start OkMyOutfit, an online styling and shopping platform.
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.
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.
Remember, side hustling is also about the time/money tradeoff, so it’s up to you to decide how much time you are willing to trade today to make more money to invest in the future. But, just like saving, I viewed the time I was prioritizing for my side hustles, as an opportunity, not a sacrifice. When I was hustling super hard, I did have to turn down offers to hang out with my friends or go to certain events.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
If you can attract a regular audience for your podcast, there’s good money to be made from sponsorships and other digital product offerings. At my own day job, we regularly pay $250 to $500 for 30-second advertisements on relevant business podcasts. Check out this episode of the Conscious Millionaire Podcast for an interview with John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, for more tips on how to make money podcasting, including selling online courses, eBooks, and coaching sessions.
Although you can still build a niche website around your personal passion, it is typically a more calculated affair. You gear all your efforts towards establishing multiple income sources and earning money rather than getting the satisfaction of following your hobbies and interests. You might be a huge fan of Queen’s music, but if there’s no money to be made off this, you won’t pursue the idea as a side gig.
If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you'll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Get started by checking out this men's portrait photography class that regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive. Plus, once you have all the photography gear, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you're not using it through online marketplaces like Fat Lama.
There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.
I created an “Every Day I’m Hustling” shirt and sold enough for the campaign to ship, but didn’t earn much on the experiment because of some not-very-effective Facebook advertising. Still, some opportunity here and a friend of mine is doing REALLY well with this. If you can create awesome designs and reach the right people with good Facebook targeting, Teespring can be very profitable.