We're all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea. Over time as you grow in your ability to leverage various social channels, you can add more service offerings like running high-return Facebook Ad campaigns or hosting lucrative sweepstakes competitions for the brands you want to work with.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that'll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for a very profitable side business idea. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it's not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
A test prep business often helps prepare customers for tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT. The business may also help customers prepare for other tests. You may instruct clients by themselves or as part of a group. Your business may be located in a separate office, or you may visit clients; alternately, you may conduct lessons entirely online via services such as Skype.
We’ve all dreamed about having a massive social media following and it’s actually much easier to achieve that you think. There are plenty of automated tools to help you grow, all you need to do is post consistently (that’s how I built my Instagram account to >10,000 users in 3 months!). Once your following is large enough you can begin to charge for shout outs, product promotions, etc. and drive traffic to a blog or email list.
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!
If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.
Develop a travel concierge service to help people when they miss their flights. Become a home, office, or life organizer for busy or disorganized people. Buy and sell used textbooks to university students. Start an online course in some quirky subject you know a lot about. Visit jumble sales and buy items to resell. Start an Airbnb, but for dogs, so their owners can travel and leave the dogs somewhere better than a kennel.
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.
I have repeated this many times over the years and it’s actually pretty easy to do when you are already planning on buying tickets for an event. A piece of advice, there are a ton of people who try to do this so it’s hard to make a full-time business out of it, but I do know one guy who makes over $200,000 every year simple buying and reselling concert tickets to the big name shows. Something about ticket reselling has always felt a bit skeezy to me, but good tickets get bought up immediately anyway. Might as well make a few bucks doing it.
On a more casual level, there are a variety of service businesses that make great side businesses. Sites like Craigslist can be a great way to put your skills to use and piece together revenue. Do you know what interviewers look for? Consider offering resume building help. Know multiple languages? Put your skills to good use and offer tutoring or language conversation lessons. Do you love animals? Advertise yourself as a dog walker for your neighborhood.
Forget content marketing, video is the new king. Creative and video agencies charge gazillions of dollars for high-end production, so there’s a lot of demand for budget services. If you know your way around video editing software, this is a great opportunity to make some extra cash. Combine this skill with a voiceover service and you have the beginnings of a promising online venture. Many businesses and private clients are looking for video editors on freelance marketplaces, such as PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Freelancer, but you can also get extra exposure and generate profit by setting up a YouTube channel and creating some value-driven video content.
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.
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.
Employed techies planning to earn some extra side income can leverage their software and hardware skills by offering home-based computer repair services as a business idea that engages their passion. If this rings a bell, you can start with a modest one-man tech team before envisioning a scaled-up operation as massive as Geek Squad. Remember, you can provide home service locally as a starting point to this business idea, as well as offer remote support through online messaging and video calling services before making your way into a retail setting.
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Those who have experience in HR and a thorough understanding of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will do well. You will need a certain amount of people skills to attract clients, but the results will matter far more than how friendly and personable you are. If 90% of your clients find a job in their field after paying you a visit, these numbers will speak for themselves.
I also buy and sell moped – little 49 cc Italian and Austrian mopeds made in the mid 1970’s to the 1980’s. These are super cool and command premium prices in cities since they are easy to ride and get 100+ mpgs! I have Craiglist alerts set up in Chicago for mopeds and pounce quickly on the deals. I actually have a storage facility just for my mopeds and still love buying and selling them. These two hobbies of mine are actually great side hustles that I don’t ever imagine stopping.
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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.
How much money can you make as a virtual assistant? Most virtual assistants trade their time for money so you might get capped based on the number of hours of work you can do each week. You can choose to set a total monthly earning or get paid by the hour. Some make minimum wage while others might make $35 an hour depending on their skills and experience.
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).
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.
So you love to cook? You could start a restaurant that will take a full-time commitment and a lot of money – or you could start a weekend catering business or a mobile food truck. A business where you provide small services on your own schedule can grow as much or as little as your time allows. Look for those opportunities while you're starting out.
AirBnB offers a great resource for people that are willing to rent out a spare room or even their entire home. If you're in a bind for some fast cash, AirBnB offers you an avenue for creating an income. You'll get paid 24 hours after a guest checks in, which is to avoid any problems or potential scams that might arrive. Some people earn their primary income just by renting out rooms or homes on AirBnB.
People who love social media and marketing will thrive in this business. However, this love must extend beyond just checking Twitter and Facebook every 15 minutes. If you want to start your own social media marketing business, you should know how people interact with different platforms, where your target demographic is most likely to live, and what type of content will spark the most interest. You should also know how (and why) different platforms evolve over time.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
I don’t know about that working for free thingy. Even if an affiliate bought from me, I would still make them an offer on something highly discounted, such as a downloadable .pdf file, an informative YouTube video with AdSense in it included in a pdf file or ask them to share the video with everyone so clicks could be accrued, and the list goes on. Working for free online is not an option. lol