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?
Let’s face it, times are tough. The unemployment rate is high and the cost of gas and food prices are on the rise. Out of necessity, many people have started to look for ways to supplement their income. Some have succeeded with side business ideas while they continue to work a full-time job. But that’s a big step, and many don’t realize how much time, effort, and money it takes.
We all know you can buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, but have you ever thought about offering a service you can provide. If providing a service isn’t your thing, you can scan Craigslist for great deals and then later resell items for a profit. This takes persistence and patience, but I have a friend who went from a $4k truck to a $24k in truck in 18 months by flipping cars from Craigslist.
Obviously, everyone has different things going on in life, so if you’re in a season where you can’t focus on your side hustle, it may not be a good time to start one. You could wait to start one until a better time for you (although I recommend putting a date on the calendar for this if there’s ever going to be a chance you follow through). If you’re just “busy” in life but it’s a normal season, they just go for it and give yourself a set schedule of when you’ll work on it every day.
If you’re particularly adept at a subject and you find teaching to be a rewarding experience, a home tutoring business is a great way to supplement your income without taking up too much time. Tutors often charge between $30 and $40 an hour and with 3 students a day for 5 days a week, you can supplement your gross income in the amount of $450-$600.
If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
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.
Counted amongst the most valuable tech giants, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea. But, like everything else that involves money, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. In this case, you need to do tons of research (looking for generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to) as well as developing a sensible inside sales strategy that'll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. For an incredible deep dive on how to launch this kind of business idea, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.
It’s very important to set boundaries with your clients in order to maintain your schedule. For instance, if you only want to work one day a weekend so that you can spend the other with your family, be prepared to lose some business when you don’t cater to the more demanding clients. With a set goal in mind, it will be easier to stick to your guns and not compromise your other priorities. Remember, if you know where you’re going before you start, you’ll have a much easier time getting there.
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.
Have you ever dreamed about writing a best selling book? Well, Amazon’s self-publication platform Kindle Direct lets you do just that. With the right market research you can write your category killing book and sell it to the masses without dealing with the cost and bureaucratic hassles of traditional publishing. The best part is, once you’ve published the book, it will continue to bring in revenue month after month with little effort on your part! People are earning anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $100,000 publishing on Amazon.
Starting a website can be a great way to build some side income in a fairly passive manner. Start a blog if you have interesting, unique, and informative stuff to tell your readers. You can then make money on advertising or having people pay for educational products or tools you produce. Or create a website that brings together buyers and sellers of a niche product from which you can charge a subscription or transaction fee. The key is to think outside the box and come up with an idea that can provide a unique solution for people. And even if you want to produce a website that is similar to ones already out there, do it bigger and better and find a way to differentiate yourself!
I've been listening to the Side Hustle School podcast since the beginning and look forward to Chris' insight each morning. So when he announced he was publishing a book, I jumped at the chance for an advance copy so I could devour even more of his brilliant guidance. (The cover on the advance copy is different from the final version, so don't get confused by the photos.)
If you have a way with words and know how to make the keyword-friendly, beautifully designed, SEO-optimized landing pages, why not charge other companies for your services and turn it into a money-making side business idea? Even a short landing page is worth a couple hundred bucks in most cases, and so much more if you know how to pitch your prospects well. If you want to get started with your business idea of becoming a landing page specialist or freelance copywriter, check out Len Smith and Sean Kaye's awesome course on Udemy, Copywriting Secrets: How to Write Copy That Sells.
As you can see, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to start a side business. The 11 ideas above only scratch the surface of the types of side business you can start to make extra money. Plus, who knows? You might even be able to turn your side hustle into a full-time career today. Start small with an equally small investment, and see where it takes you!
Freelance web developers are some of the most sought-after experts online. No business imagines its future without a well-functioning website and let’s not forget about growing market for apps based on artificial intelligence. If you have the right skills and experience in place, then this is your golden ticket to kicking off a successful online side business. Use freelance marketplaces like PeoplePerHour or Upwork to generate leads and pick up freelance projects, but be sure to have your own website with a balanced portfolio that you can show when pitching to new clients. If you’re only thinking about acquiring web development skills, there’s a ton of free resources that you should explore.
Make extra money providing a simple service that’s like going for a walk! For over 30 years I’ve been cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties. I simply walk the property and clean up litter with inexpensive hand tools. Great side hustle as the work needs to be done before the businesses open for the day. I’ve written a book, Cleanlots, that details how to get started.
Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
For individuals who enjoy sewing or seamstress work, have some artistic talent, or have an eye for patterning and organizing ideas into a tangible object, quilting can be the perfect career. A background in sewing is preferable, although some quilters started because of a love or passion for creating and quickly found their niche in the quilting community.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
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.
Most of us struggle with selling our own experience and skills. Looking for a new job can be an extremely stressful and frustrating experience, so it’s not unusual for job hunters to turn to experts for a bit of help and guidance. Whether you have some recruitment experience or a knack for clear communication, CV and cover letter writing could be just the right side gig idea for you. Experts at Stand Out Shop are cleverly combining CV writing service with selling downloadable resume designs, so think big and think about offering the ultimate job hunter’s package. Don’t know where to start? Use your LinkedIn network to generate leads and promote your services.
The demand for dolls has fluctuated over time, but they do continue to withstand the test of time. A custom doll maker will handcraft dolls for clients based on either public demand or personalized requests. For example, they may create dolls that reflect current pop culture or political icons, or they may handcraft dolls that resemble the client who ordered it.
Tutoring pays quite well, and many clients will refer you to others, especially if their son or daughter shows significant improvement or finishes a class with a good grade. People want to know what they are paying for, so advertise your skills by having previous clients give testimonials and providing information on your own educational background.
42 Selling lost luggage Auction houses round the country routinely sell off lost luggage that the airlines have failed to match with their owners. "For example, Greasby's in south London sells off BA's lost items every week," points out Birtles. "You bid blind on bags that have had the expensive stuff removed (cameras, iPods etc) and then sell the bag and contents on eBay or at a car boot sale. Bags generally go for between £5-£50. Your profit depends on what's in them!"
Many small businesses need a social media manager and simply don't have the time nor the expertise to be constantly posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or Twitter. Take it upon yourself to contact local businesses and offer up your services for a contracted monthly fee. This is an easy way to make money no matter where you live.
There’s a big difference between drinking beer and learning how to brew it. But, with patience and a bit of persistence, brewing it yourself could result in something special over time as you perfect your craft. Pick up a starter kit, like one from Mr. Beer and get creative about finding a winning flavor combination. Start small by setting up a booth at a local street fair and networking with local restaurant owners. Be sure to brush up on local regulations and proper licensing before you start selling.
Side Hustles are one of my favorite methods of making extra money, and I love encouraging my readers to start up a side hustle. This blog originally began as a side hustle and l never imagined that it would become my full time job. (Click here to see how to start a blog, or here to learn how I made $160k from my blog side hustle.) But side hustles don't start from nothing. 99.9% of “side gigs” have to be actively managed (and grown!) “on the side” – often on top of full time work. Balancing a full-time job and a side business is not for the “faint of heart”, but it can be done. Below is my guide for how to make it happen and how to (eventually) quit your job and do your side hustle FULL TIME.
For many, beekeeping starts as a hobby. It doesn’t take them long, however, to realize what a fascinating and fulfilling career it can be. Beekeeping isn’t just about collecting honey; it’s about getting to know your bees, their behaviors, and their response to the natural environment around them. How rewarding would it be to parlay your passion into a career?
The most popular side hustles for millennials are "home repair/landscaping" (12 percent), according to Bankrate. A total of 9 percent of millennial respondents make additional money babysitting and 8 percent selling or reselling goods online, including via sites like Ebay, according to the survey. Other millennial side gigs include substitute teaching or tutoring; doing hair or makeup; earning money by finishing online surveys or completing tasks for people online; or doing freelance photography and videography (4 percent each).
According to a Gallup poll, more than 43 percent of employed Americans spend some time working remotely. This share is likely to increase over time in part because of the ways in which it can save workers and employers money. Remote job site FlexJobs estimates that working from home can save workers as much as $4,668, while Quartz calculates that telecommuters can save $2,524 a year.
As I already mentioned, I started a blog while working full time, babysitting, and freelance writing. Eventually, I wanted to build a scalable business, so I quit babysitting and freelance writing, but I initially used money from those jobs to help grow my blog. I needed that income for the side jobs (babysitting and freelance writing) to help me grow my side hustle (my blog). So, you can find ways to grow your side hustle by adding in a side job to the mix while you need it. I highly recommend it!
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.
There isn’t one way to bootstrap your business—and this can be both a positive and a negative. Bootstrapping can offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to be flexible, creative, and fund their business on their own terms. It often results in cobbling together a variety of revenue streams in order to establish a solid financial platform to get a business going. However, this can also be a risky, unstable endeavor, which is a potential downside to consider.
Selz includes the option to link your online store to your blog and social media accounts. By connecting all of these sites, you can drive traffic to your store and sell more workout plans. Selz also allows you to upload videos along with your photos, which can be be a great way to feature short, visual samples of your workouts plans and the different exercises you recommend. Customers want to see what you do, and this is the perfect way to show them.
If you’re relatively young and in good health, this could be an option for you to add some significant income to your budget. Keep in mind, however, that this option is fraught with physical and emotional consequences; make sure you think about egg donation carefully before moving forward. This is also a process that, once you’re accepted into an egg donation program, usually takes 3-5 weeks, or longer.
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.