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.
People love their pets, and many pet owners want to memorialize their non-human friends through artwork. Pet portraits businesses create custom portraits of pets for customers. Many businesses are run by a single artist, but businesses can also have several artists on staff. The mediums these artists create offer a different feel than photographs -- which pet owners can take themselves -- provide.

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.


When it comes to online businesses, a good website design is one of the defining factors for success. A bit like web development, it is one of the most in-demand skills in the freelance world. With new startups launching every day, finding web design work won’t be very difficult. But you can also explore the possibility of designing and selling WordPress themes or creating custom designs for Squarespace and Wix users, like Designs for Squares are doing.

If you are always trying out new hairstyles and enjoy working with hair, then this could be the perfect side business idea for you. Start with a specific tutorial, such as a how-to on making stylish braids. You can upload videos to your website or store demonstrating each type of braid, and produce a guide that gives step-by-step instructions for each.


Everybody knows that finding (and landing) your dream job can be tough—especially when you've had the same position for a while and your resume is looking a little rusty. Before jumping in and becoming an expert resume writer, you'll have to learn how to write a resume on your own, and then practice by redoing resume's for your friends and co-workers. Next, you're ready to join a resume writers' association, continue establishing your credibility and you can eventually make your way into more hands-on career coaching opportunities.
If you want to broaden your services and earn more, you can opt to make the entire house look neat and clean with this side business idea. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle sales, administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor, learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations with the help of cleaning business management tools like Swept. Beyond that, I'd recommend checking out Cleaning Zoom's ultimate guide to starting a cleaning business if you plan on taking this business idea seriously.
A social media marketer provides ideas and content for their clients. Some owners may specialize in a particular type of platform (e.g., Facebook only), but most work with all platforms to create a cohesive strategy for a business. Owners may work with one particular type of business (e.g., social media for real estate only) or with a variety of businesses or causes.
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.
An online driving school (also called a “traffic school”) can be started by anyone who has an affinity for creating web-based services, who is also willing to go to the trouble to be legally certified by a state authority. Schools that offer in-class instruction needs certified teachers who are skilled in public speaking. If getting up in front of a crowd of strangers to explain things does not intimidate you, you would be very good at this. Most driving schools also offer on-the-road training, which requires instructors to be both patient and firm with students, so as to help them learn how to drive while avoid making dangerous mistakes.
Having a YouTube business is a great way to make some extra money without having to dedicate too much time. There’s a number of celebrities who owe their fame to YouTube and an even larger number of people who have made money with less recognition. A large number of subscribers and interesting content can help you monetize your content. This business only really requires as much time as it takes you to create and upload your videos.
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).
1 Antiques/collectibles dealing Know your stuff when it comes to certain kinds of collectibles? If so this can be a great way to make money from a hobby. Trading sites such as eBay make it easier than ever to reach your target market, according to Trent Hamm, author of US money-saving blog thesimpledollar.com. "I had some success with this myself in the past, trading cards and video games," he says.

A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that'll want to utilize your services.
There is a subscription box for just about anything you can imagine these days. As an entrepreneur getting started, this means you will have some stiff competition. Think about a unique niche that consumers want and need in their lives, and consider ways to make your product stand out from the competition. Are your prices lower? Is your shipping quicker? Do you include goodies and bonuses that other businesses don’t?
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you're looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of balance in all areas of your life. This is a perfect example of why. If you’re going to have a side hustle, then by definition, you’re doing it on the side of something else (probably your day job). And if that’s the case, you’re not going to have much time for other things. Take a look at my YouTube video on my daily schedule working full time and blogging to get an idea of how I do both.
This business is great for those who like to work at their own schedule and pace. While certain transcription services, such as court reporter, may require stricter scheduling requirements, most of the work involves transcribing audio or video that has been provided to you. As such, the job is also ideal for those who type fast and are comfortable using computers and other related software and technology.
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.
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).
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.

Top side hustles have one big thing in common: there’s a high demand for it. A virtual assistant is an assistant who works in a remote location. They can help with tasks such as administration, social media, bookkeeping and more. There’s been a growing demand for virtual assistants from business owners who need help on various projects. As a virtual assistant you can specialize in countless areas. In the past, I’ve hired virtual assistants for social media and customer service. And there are countless other businesses around the world who rely on virtual assistants to grow and maintain their brands.


Pet photography, like many other types of photography, can be done on one’s own schedule. You will have to be flexible in order to work with clients and find times that work for both parties, but you can pretty much set your own availability in a pet photography business. Best of all, there aren’t many ongoing expenses, so you could run a pet photography business from your home without very much upfront investment.

While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.
Wow! You may have, “99 Problems.” But a Hustle isn’t one :-) ( Dating myself on that reference ? ) Lol. Much value my friend. First time seeing your site. Simply, “Googled” Side Hustle. Here you are. Myself, I created a “Solar Side Hustle” only a few days back. Looking forward to expanding my horizons. J.o.b. ( just over broke) Not for me anymore & I can imagine. Not for anyone here on your Site as well. Get your Hustle on World !
Becoming a Virtual Assistant Tip: When starting this side hustle, you can find clients on popular websites like Upwork. However, you could start to see better results when you branch out on your own as an independent contractor. Starting up might be a bit harder as you need to find clients but you could earn more money this way. You can join popular Facebook groups for businesses or online retailers to offer your services.
Affiliate marketing is one of those side hustle ideas that can either make you a lot of money or nothing. It’s not just about finding the right product to sell, but also finding the right brand to partner with. If you chose to be an affiliate marketer for ecommerce stores, your commission will likely be a lot lower than if you were just to dropship them yourself. However, there are tech companies who will pay a hefty price tag to affiliates who bring them new customers.
As for the questions an Amazon recruiter might ask, Bezos himself offered guidance for hiring standards 20 years ago in his 1998 letter to shareholders. He encouraged decision makers to think about three guiding questions: "Will you admire this person? Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they're entering? Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?"

If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started.
Get a tax ID number. If you're starting your side business in the US, you need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business from the IRS, even if you don't plan on having any employees. You typically need a separate tax ID for your business in most countries if you want to keep your side business legal and above-board.[13]

After you have exhausted your skill set, consider what you may have to offer others. Think about what others want to have done in their life that you are willing to do. Consider all the things people pay for professionally, but would love to save money by paying you a bit less. These 5 examples are awesome in that they come from someone thinking outside the box.
Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won't rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.
Regardless of your status, you can become a virtual yoga coach. Consider offering private lessons online via Google Hangouts or Skype; or even making and selling pre-recorded videos that your clients can follow at their own convenience. With so many people traveling for business or pleasure these days, this is a great way for them to stay connected with their practice, regardless of their physical location.
That’s where Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle steps in. The term “side hustle” has become all the rage these days, but for Guillebeau, it’s the way he’s lived his life and earned his income for more than a decade. As a friend and colleague, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s repeated the process many times, getting better and faster with each iteration (and often looked on in awe). And, I was excited to receive a copy to dive into and learn from.

To market yourself as a consultant, you will, of course, have to be an expert in something. But, as Brett rightly says, “most people starting a business are.” What are you good at? What skills from your career can translate over into a viable consulting business? Think about your previous duties and areas in which you have excelled, and go from there.


Suzanne lives in Texas and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, both online and in traditional print media. She also owns her own small business and has a passion to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island that is equipped with Wi-Fi.
While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
This product has really exploded onto the market over the last few years, and new kinds are coming out all the time. This is an item that is popular with a huge portion of the population. The branding you use will depend on whether you sell your own product or partner with a larger company. Regardless of your choice, you will need an appealing storefront, which Selz can help you achieve.
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.
Blogging Tip: If you’re passionate about blogging, create an online store that you can monetize and add a blog onto it. This allows you to start monetizing your asset before you’ve built your audience. Plus, the combination of content and commerce is a powerful one. As your blog grows, you can use retargeting ads to monetize your blog traffic to land even more sales. If you pump out regular, quality content you’ll quite possibly have a few home run posts that bring you a ton of traffic that’ll be easier to monetize than if you were hoping for a few affiliate sales.
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.
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