Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.
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.
With more of us working fewer hours and with a resulting earnings gap to close, there's arguably never been a better time to set up a business you can run in your spare time from home. Whether it's to help make ends meet, or to follow your passion, or maybe even both, we've asked the experts to come up with 50 practical and cheap ways to make some extra cash.
I live in Phoenix where it will hover at 116°F during the summer. I also see a guy selling snow cones and water for a premium. I asked him how business was recently – he smiled and said “Business is gooooooood”. Buy a case of water at Costco for $0.12 a bottle and resell them for $2 wherever it is HOT. Who wouldn’t pay $2 for ice-cold water during the dog days of summer?
Furniture flipping is actually a really fun business. I’ve dabbled in this myself a time or two, and it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks if you don’t mind putting in the time. What you do is scour garage sales, Craigslist, or even the side of the road on trash day looking for furniture that’s in need of a little TLC. Then, take the time to fix, refinish, or paint the furniture, and resell it for a profit.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work. I also want to make clear that even when you do phone work as a virtual assistant, lots of times it can be arranged so you're making the calls during times of day when it's convenient for you.
If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn't too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.
Many people enjoy cooking outside on the grill, and love to have up-to-date, modern tools to use while doing it. You can be a one-stop shop for any accessory your customer might need- spatulas, knives, meat thermometers, grill brushes, tongs, etc. You can purchase these items from a wholesaler and sell them on your store. You will need to market your new business, so make sure to connect your Selz store to your social media, and anywhere else you have an online presence.
Thank you so much for this list. I have been deliberating on starting a consulting/coaching business for so long now (2 years). I am not working at the moment as I took a career break after my MBA to start a family and now look after my child. Consulting for SME’s has always been my passion, it was actually my MBA long term goal but since I am yet to attain my short term goal (getting a job and more experience) I am hesitant to start my coaching business. My fear of not starting has been around how a new employer will perceive me when I am ready to go back to work. Are there people who openly run a side hustle and their employers know? I am in the UK and currently starting to look for a job but it is taking longer than expected, I also would like to know how this applies in the USA as I will be moving over in two years. Can you advice, anyone with experience in both markets please advice.
6 Car boot sales This is a part-time occupation that increases earnings and broadens horizons as you make sales and get to travel, says Emma Jones, author of Working 5 to 9: How to Start a Successful Business in your Spare Time, and founder of the website enterprisenation.com. "Consider selling specialist items and building a reputation for being the go-to person; offering your knowledge and expertise with the product can increase the price you're paid," she suggests.
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.
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.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
Not only can you start sourcing freelance writing gigs on the side from sites like Upwork, Cloudpeeps, and Flexjobs while holding onto your day job, but once you've built up your client base, it's a business you'll be able to run remotely from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a solid list of regular employers.
Are you an accomplished instrumentalist or vocalist? Have you played in a band or a symphony? Even if you just play as a hobby, selling music lessons online can be a great way to help people explore their passions and make yourself some money on the side. Parents often seek out professionals to help their children learn how to play a specific instrument, and virtual music coaches are becoming more and more popular.
Happy days are here again – or so you might assume from a recent wave of optimistic reports about the economic outlook and rising consumer confidence. But while unemployment is down, the latest labour market figures reveal a surge in part-time jobs as employers remain anxious about long-term recovery prospects, suggesting it may not be time to hang out the bunting just yet.
Fitness trackers can help to monitor steps, heart rate, calories burned, sleep, and much more. You don’t have to actually design your own fitness tracker- you can display the types of trackers you want to sell, then find a dropshipper. Basically, this means that the product is ordered from your store, the shipped directly to the customer from the dropshipper (or company).
Having an adequate amount of cash flow in a business can make the difference between success and failure. That’s why it’s important to have serious cash reserves when you launch full-time. But many people don’t have the months of operating expenses needed to do this. So they start small with a side business and use profits to beef up cash reserves for a future full-scale launch.
One of the most widely-available ways for making money is to drive for Uber or Lyft. The sharing economy has quite literally exploding, and both Uber and Lyft are at the forefront. The best part? You can turn on and off your availability through these networks with the simple click of a button, effectively allowing you to make money no matter what time of day or night it is.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you're offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
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.
Piano tuners are generally mobile service technicians that complete simple repairs and routine tuning for a wide variety of pianos at the piano owner's home, business, or school. They are knowledgeable in the construction of pianos, and they can repair felt, keys, minor wood damage, and replace wire as needed to maintain action and sound. Pianos used in a commercial or academic setting can be tuned after being moved or on a regular four month, six month, or yearly basis. It is a service that relies on the tuning technician’s expertise and experience.
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.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that's your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens' Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Think about websites like Udemy, which gives teachers a platform to teach online courses. A business like this allows people to share their expertise with students while making a living—all without the need for a physical location, or even a set schedule. Or maybe you prefer to approach things a little more creatively. If you’re crafty, you might consider a custom phone case business, which helps you lets customers add personal flair to their phones.
In this economy, it’s more conceivable to develop multiple streams of income than it is to earn more money from a single job. Given the number of people losing their jobs, this may be a safer tactic as well and a side business can be a good way to do this. Whether you want to keep it simple as just a source of extra income, or develop it into a full-time business, the choice yours.
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.
There you go! These are the first five things you need to do to get started. And notice not one of them was “go buy a bunch of equipment and materials” or “pay $10,000 for a professional website.” Those things aren’t a bad investment later down the line when your business revenues justify it. But when you’re starting out, the problem isn’t the design of your website; it’s your fear, doubt, and hesitation.
The opportunity to cash in on this adventure is still valid but only if you play smart. Buying and selling domain names is a great side business idea for entrepreneurs with strong research skills. Understanding the audience you want to sell to and being able to recognise valuable domain names are the key drivers behind the success of this business and the knowledge comes only with careful research and testing. Check out Sedo, one of the most popular domain marketplaces, to get a better insight into pricing and trends.
Wow that is really inspirational and a breath of fresh air compaired to the typical drive an uber, di gigs on fiverr advice. This brought some new insight. I’m wondering how you handlle taxation on side husttles. Can you just add that income to your tax declaration in the U.S. or do you need to set up some sort of company to be able to do your invoicing etc… ?
Many people choose to start a side business while still maintaining a full-time job. Maybe you want to generate a little extra income, or you believe you have a good idea for a product or service that's going to take awhile to get up and running. Whatever your reason, starting a side business can be difficult, but you can do it if you test your idea and keep everything well separated from your day job. Spend time researching your idea so you know the need is there to make it worth your time and effort. Once you know your business idea is solid, get your licenses and permits in order and check over your employer's policies to make sure you can start your side business and still keep your day job.
In the last few years, I’ve created online courses, launched a self-published book (under a fake name—not proud of this one), done marketing consulting, launched an email course, Airbnb-ed my apartment, traded stocks, bought cryptocurrency (my best investment to date), bought a condo and put it on Airbnb, wrote a book (a better one), bought a business, put affiliate links on my site, given paid talks, written book summaries, and built an affiliate site for a basketball dribbling course I never took (also not proud of this one).
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.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you'll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
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There's a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that'll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you're up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
Says Abbey Finch, who used freelance writing to help fund her startup Scribe Space, “I also surprisingly got a lot of luck using Craigslist and Odesk to find new work. I did everything from writing for a local, free newspaper covering town council meetings to writing how-to guides for eBay. I’ve written for lawyers, doctors, home improvement specialists, a wedding band, and so much more.”
When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it's how I make sure I'll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.
Live bands are paid to perform music professionally before audiences in bars, nightclubs, concerts, private parties, corporate events, and other public venues. Peripheral revenue can be generated through the sale of recordings and merchandise. In addition to the group’s musicians, ownership in the business can include its manager and anyone else with a financial stake.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.
You can choose to do custom gift baskets, or have a few themed options for customers to pick from. Make sure your baskets are aesthetically pleasing, and build your store to include high-quality photos and clear descriptions of each product. Consider offering promotions for holidays, and giving discounts to repeat customers. Most importantly, get creative and have fun.
The good news about starting a side hustle online is there’s no age cut off, no employment reference check, no having to get dressed for a job interview, no having to ask for a raise, no having to work around people, no having to get dressed for work, and you can take as many breaks as you desire all while still getting paid. Only thing is, you have to put away your own money for retirement (if you do decide to later on), pay your own healthcare, and money for additional costs.