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.
From crafting to home repair to website design and more, if you've ever wanted to turn your hobby into a business and watch your passion generate cash, Running a Side Business is the book for you. Packed with tips, legal resources, start-up success stories and USA TODAY snapshots and infographics, you'll learn the life cycle of a business and get answers to important questions along the way. Find out how to:
Consider whether you'll need to lease office or retail space, or whether you can operate your business from your home. If you're thinking of running your side business out of your home (whether long-term or just at first), you need to check the zoning regulations in your city or county and make sure home-based businesses are permitted. This may be a problem particularly if you plan to invite customers or clients into your home on a regular basis.
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.
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we're growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my free master course on blogging will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.
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.
Detailing cars is a great way to make a few extra dollars. You can start this business with a few supplies and some networking. You can start in your local neighborhood, advertise on Facebook, and offer discounts during holidays. This is a great gift people can give new graduates or dads for Father’s Day so be sure to mention this when trying to sell people on your service.

You can have your own store up in only a few minutes at eBay. To start, you must have a seller account, must be verified through PayPal. You are even able to give a detailed description of your store with a catchy design to attract customers. I have a friend who will buy all of the unused bras at a last chance type of store and resell them for a profit at her eBay store. Last I heard, she was doing $1,000/month in her first couple of months.


Maybe you’ve always had a knack for repainting old thrift store furniture. Or maybe you’re a gifted musician who could coach other young aspiring talent. Maybe you have a specific education, training, experience or skill that you could develop into a freelance business such as financial planning or graphic design. Whatever your “thing” may be, there are plenty of good reasons to get going.
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.
Do you love to write? Are you an expert in a certain field? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about? People love the ability to carry knowledge around with them on their phones, tablets, laptops, and Kindles! Making eBooks is an excellent way to get your work out into the world and make a buck on the side. In fact, self-published eBooks account for 22% of all eBooks purchases in the United States (source). In time, writing eBooks could even replace your 9-5, but you’ll need to find a place to market and sell your work where it will get maximum exposure.

A friend’s son was a member of the Chess Club at his elementary school. He spent one day a week after school for an hour, learning how to play chess. His parents paid $40 for 8 weeks of this club. That money went to the leader who was teaching everyone how to play chess. He paid a small rental fee to the school, but everything after that cost was profit for him. This brilliant idea could be a side hustle for you on the weekends or evenings. This entrepreneur offered these services to four different schools, worked just an hour a day and was able to live on the money he made while going to college. This is definitely not limited to chess and could be offered at a local rec center, a church, or the library.  
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.
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.
Oh man, I haven’t experimented with those myself, but I’m all about trying out new things! I feel like you really have to just give these things a shot to really find out if it’s something worthwhile or not, as too many people have skewed opinions and situations. Worse case you can always just stop and/or sell your car, right? So I say give it a shot for a month and then report back your findings ;)
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.
Most Instagram users find themselves using the app in their free time. When you get off work, the last thing on your mind is working more, but using Instagram feels more like fun than hard work. As you spend some time creating the perfect post, you could be earning some major coin from the business whose product/service you’re advertising, and it’ll take very little of your time to do.
It’s funny that you put baking of all things on this list. I’d often considered the idea of baking cookies and things and selling them on Facebook garage sale sites and things like that – until I made Christmas cookies last week and found out how difficult it is. Let’s just say it gave me a healthy appreciate for the people who make all the tasty desserts I regularly enjoy!
As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.
If you’re stuck here, research your competition again and talk to people already doing what you want to do to see how their first six months went. People love to talk about themselves and share their stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone and ask to talk with her only to hear about her story (don’t ask for anything in return, though, just ask to hear her story).
First, decide the composition of your target audience. Are you going to focus on aging skin-care products, or cosmetics for teens and tweens? Do you want to hit the burgeoning natural product market? Once you have a sense of who you are selling to, you will need to decide if you want to make your own products, or work and receive commission from a larger company.
Did you know you can rent your room or house out at Airbnb? They have been around since 2008 and millions of people have been renting out their rooms or entire homes to travelers from all over the world. If you do this right, you may be able to cover your entire mortgage! If you’re going to be gone for a month or two, you may as well allow your space to make money while you’re gone.
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).
From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
We’ve selected these ideas because they’re always at the top of the list of the most profitable side hustles, but don’t worry if you don’t feel particularly drawn to any of them. There are dozens of other skills that can help you to bring home the bacon. Head to sites like Skillshare, Udemy and GeneralAssembly to see what online classes are trending and maybe you will find your calling!

Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
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?
How can you avoid that? Start a side hustle you can fund through savings -- or better yet, that you don't need to fund. Provide a service that only requires the tools you already have. Sell products you either make or can procure by consignment. Prove to yourself that there is a market -- and that you can serve that market -- before you take on any debt.

Most Instagram users find themselves using the app in their free time. When you get off work, the last thing on your mind is working more, but using Instagram feels more like fun than hard work. As you spend some time creating the perfect post, you could be earning some major coin from the business whose product/service you’re advertising, and it’ll take very little of your time to do.

Keep in mind that competition is fierce right now; many people turned to freelancing when the recession hit to earn some extra money on the side. So you’re going to have to fight your way into this market. The good news, however, is that quality writing never goes out of style, and there’s far more bad writers out there than great ones. So if you’re good and you’re persistent, you’re going to find work.


A feasible idea is one you can start very soon, and that will earn you money in a short period of time. If it is a grand idea that will require great dedication, significant capital, it is not a side hustle. It is useful to see the hustle as much like a hobby, but with one huge difference. Most hobbies cost money, but your side hustle makes money. If you would have difficulty explaining the idea in a sentence or two, you should rethink the idea.
The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won't be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
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.
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.
I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each. I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies. Here’s basically how it works. Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.
It’s not on this list but Brand Ambassador/Promo work is another very flexible, fun, and lucrative side hustle! Basically you promote your favorite brands at awesome events (e.g. handing out Red Bull or demoing new products at high foot traffic areas). I created an entire resource website on how to succeed in this industry called “Brand Ambassador World”. It has everything from resume designs, to super helpful tips and tricks, to where to find promo gigs, to a comprehensive list of agencies, etc.
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