Guerin, an editor/author specializing in employment law, is author or co-author of several Nolo books, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, Nolo's Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, Workplace Investigations, Create Your Own Employee Handbook, and Nolo's Guide to California Law. Guerin has practiced employment law in government, public interest, and private practice where she represented clients at all levels of state and federal courts and in agency proceedings. She is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.
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.
In fact, many business owners start their businesses as side ventures. They don't quit their day jobs, but instead use the skills they've learned to start that side business. They aren't expecting these businesses to pay the bills, but they don't limit themselves on growth either. Starting small keeps the startup costs low. If it does fail, they have lost very little. How do you start a side business? Here are a few tips.

Now that I've been blogging for almost seven (!!!!) years, built the blog into my full-time job, worked for myself for two years, then went back to work, I can look back on the whole process and pinpoint what I did right and where I went wrong. This makes me the perfect person to tell you the biggest things you need to know when considering this kind of transition.


If you're toying with the idea to pad your income with a side job, this book is a decent start. It gives you some suggestions about what to do, links to further resources (often other Nolo books), and some good tips on topics as diverse as marketing or how to deal with various types of business people, including lawyers. I went through the book easily and found it well- written and understandable.
Everyone that buys a painting or has a nice photograph or a portrait made of their family may also need to have that work framed. Framing requires a specialized skill set that includes having craft-person talents, the ability to do simple carpentry, to know how to safely run a table saw, and have a good eye for pleasing aesthetic designs. You will need to understand color combinations and how to make a painting or a photo nicely framed to fit in well with the intended surroundings.

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.

Any adult who looks after another person's child for more than two hours on any one day in a location other than the child's home (so excluding most babysitters and nannies) needs to register with Ofsted – it's not a particularly complicated process but does include medical, criminal and domestic safety checks. Nannies can look after the children of up to two sets of parents, in one of their home environments, without being Ofsted-registered.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.

Gardening is a popular pastime for many people, and a growing segment of the population is working to grow fruits and vegetables of their own. If you have a green thumb, this might be the perfect side business idea for you. First, decide what kinds of gardening supplies you will be selling. Do you want to stick with seeds, plants, plant food, and fertilizer; or are you interested in selling equipment such as shovels, rakes, and hoses?

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.[1]


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.
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.
Another option for earning a side income is to deliver for PostMates. Similar to working for Uber and Lyft, you can work whenever you want. While the pay might not be enormous, you do have the ability to earn tips. If you're in a highly-trafficked area such as Los Angeles or New York City, this is a great way to earn some cash and you don't even need a car.

Are you one of those people who start their day with a to-do list? Then you’ll enjoy helping others get their life back. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to entrepreneurs and business owners who have more on their hands than they can handle. The ultimate perk of this side business is that you can work from your home office or anywhere you want, as long as you have a wifi connection and access to a phone. Freelance marketplaces are the best places to pick up some freelance gigs until you have a solid stream of clients coming through your own website.
Your product here is yourself, so prove that you are passionate about what you do, and detail the ways you can help them. Displaying testimonials is a huge selling point for this business. Give potential customers an inside look at one of the programs you offer so they know precisely what they will receive. Clearly state the prices for each service. Make sure to include contact information and encourage any questions they may have.
According to a report published by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in Canada, the jam and preserve industry in the United States brings in over $1 billion annually. Most impressively, it’s grown steadily -- even through the Great Recession. The market for jams, jellies, and preserves is strong, growing, and has many opportunities for new start-ups.
An effective social media strategy that’s focused on attracting new prospects and nurturing leads can take a lot of time to develop and implement. Let alone all the automation, optimization and engagement tools and tactics that a good social media manager needs to master. So while the majority of business owners will strive to have a presence on social media channels, only a few will know how to get the best ROI and tie their social media efforts to the bottom line. Tapping into this need and helping businesses manage their social media accounts could turn out to be a very profitable side business idea.
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.

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.
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.
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).
Do you love being outside, planting flowers and pulling weeds? Many people find this a chore but others (myself included) love doingyardwork and planting. If this is you, then you could think about starting a landscaping and yardwork business on the side. You could offer to design beds, plant flowers and shrubs, cut grass, pull weeds, and rake leaves.
If you start babysitting when you’re younger and gain experience, you can charge more. Parents love to be able to go out to dinner and know that they’re leaving their kids with someone trustworthy. Start small by offering to babysit your friends or neighbors’ children and then make sure you advertise your services on Facebook as well. Do a great job, and your business can grow simply by word of mouth.

If you want to speed up the process of launching your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like Bluehost, choosing a simple WordPress theme and working on your first post, in order to set the precedent of prioritizing your time on creating content, connecting with (and building) your audience. Then once you've been able to build a community around your blog, you'll want to invest in really understanding your readers—so that you can give them more of what they want.

Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You'll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won't be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr's history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.
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.
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.
Great post, MM! Incredibly inspiring, I really only grasped the side hustle concept since starting my blog about 6 months ago, after reading sites like yours. Already, apart from my blog, I’ve put my personal recording studio into use and started a music production side hustle, and a friend and I have launched a boutique logo design start up, called BroGoLogo, as an quality alternative to commodity products/services that you mention in this post.
Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ's, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who's doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you're ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.

Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
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.

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).
People who are passionate about music and can play at least one instrument well may be interested in starting a music lessons business. Music teachers in schools and band members are especially qualified, as they both have credentials and connections to people who love music. People don’t have to be a music teacher or in a band to start a music lessons business, though.
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. This eBook writer currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around $1000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, Caroline Beaton used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she's truly passionate about.
This is probably the side hustle I have the most fun doing. I have been buying and selling both VW Campers and mopeds since I was in college. While I sell a lot more mopeds that VW campers, but when I find a good camper deal I don’t hesitate. I love VW Westfalia Campers from the 1970’s and 1980’s and have owned 2 over the past 10 years. They have gone up a ton in value over that time, but you can still find deals on them locally.
That’s my plan. No kids, no spouse, parents deceased. I’ll never be able to retire. On PSLF, but forgiveness not approved until 120th payment. Many are not being forgiven now. I take courses to stay in deferment. FedLoan bases payment on gross; not net. How does that make any sense?! After bills I can’t afford the payment. I have 3 grad degrees. Was supposed to be a psychologist. APA & NCE won’t accept my 15yo degrees for the national exam. So I teach at a CC. Over 180,000 in debt now and it grows monthly.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.

People drawn to this business have a keen aesthetic eye for the details that make a framed item attractive. They also like to interface with the public and encourage their customers’ personal style and expression in how a customer wants something framed. A custom framing shop is all about serving others to help them make their decorative ideas come true.
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.
Obviously, this business is great for those who are already fit and have worked hard to create an exercise and health regimen that works, as they can use their personal experience to help educate others. It's good for someone who is a “people person,” as the entire job revolves around regular interaction with a diverse clientele. It is also good for someone who is a natural leader—just as a good manager or coach helps people to visualize and then actualize success, a good personal trainer helps clients visualize a healthier self and provides a pathway to achieving that goal.

Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
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!
If you’re forced to disclose the fact, it might make your employer suspicious of your on-site activities and cause them to watch you more closely. On the other hand, it may make them see you in a new light and open opportunities for you with the company. Either way, you’ll have to carefully consider whether or not your employer has the right to know what you’re doing, and what, if anything, is at risk if you don’t tell.
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 - $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.

Yes, spending time on YouTube can be a legitimate business idea if you take it seriously. If you can create value-driven, entertaining video content and grow your subscriber base to a few thousand subscribers, your videos can start generating pretty substantial income from all the ads being displayed on your videos. Many YouTube users make well into the millions each year, so there's clear potential to take this from side business idea to eventual millionaire with the right combination of content, audience, skills, relationships and timing. If you’re considering starting a YouTube channel it’s important use best practices when making videos. Read the YouTube playbook for tips which will result in faster growth of your channel. Additionally think about investing in a quality camera and microphone since the production quality of videos can often affect your viewership.
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.
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.
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.

Additionally, business owners who start this type of business are in good company. Not only do many people have successful children’s book businesses today, but one of the most successful children’s authors in modern history began by self-publishing her work. Beatrix Potter funded the first runs of both Peter Rabbit and The Tailor of Gloucester. The two stories are popular even to this day.
If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you'll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Get started by checking out this men's portrait photography class that regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive. Plus, once you have all the photography gear, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you're not using it through online marketplaces like Fat Lama.
But regular side hustles are especially popular among American millennials — 38 percent of people ages 18 and 37 told Bankrate that they make money from their side hustles at least once a month. That's compared to 30 percent of Gen Xers (ages 38 to 53) and 24 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 54 to 72). Bankrate also found that 15 percent of millennials earn money from their side hustle a weekly basis, 10 percent "a few times" each month and 13 percent once a month.

To start an affiliate marketing business you’ll need a strong online presence. The most successful affiliate marketers run blogs, websites or newsletters that enjoy high levels of readership. This passive income technique is based on the idea that the products and services you recommend are strongly targeted and relevant to your audience and don’t feel like outright selling. It’s also essential to always be transparent about your relationship with the affiliate partner to avoid losing your reader’s’ trust.
A pet waste removal business eliminates pet waste from customers' yards. This is an essential service that beautifies properties, improves cleanliness, and reduces the chances of illness. Though most pet waste removal business owners remove dog waste from yards, services can extend to emptying cat litter boxes and the waste spaces of other animals.
If you plan on launching an eCommerce startup, eBay is also a great way to test the waters with your business idea. Before launching his vintage T-shirt business Defunkd, James Applegath sold his vintage tees on eBay, as a way to determine if there was a market for the business. “EBay and other marketplace platforms are an excellent way to test how your business will perform prior to launching a startup,” he says, and adds that the funds you generate through this avenue will also help you in starting your business.

A college planning business’ volume is very seasonal. In the fall, most high school seniors begin to seriously consider which college they’ll be attending. As this is such a big decision, many students stress over which college is the right choice for them. This is where you come in. Since peak demand is in the fall, this business won’t require too much of your time throughout the year, making it a convenient side business that’ll also prove lucrative.
If sales and marketing isn’t your forte you can use a platform like Upwork or Freelancer.com who have large active audiences already looking for your skills. The kicker there is that these platforms tend to take a significant cut of your fees. If you want to keep 100% of your dough you can handle the sales process yourself and start by reaching out to local businesses or focus on a specific niche.
Consulting is another area in which you can make use of your existing skills. Diana Melencio spent eight years working on Wall Street, and later used her financial background to her advantage, working as an independent financial consultant. This side business enabled her to follow her passion and to start OkMyOutfit, an online styling and shopping platform.
Everyone that buys a painting or has a nice photograph or a portrait made of their family may also need to have that work framed. Framing requires a specialized skill set that includes having craft-person talents, the ability to do simple carpentry, to know how to safely run a table saw, and have a good eye for pleasing aesthetic designs. You will need to understand color combinations and how to make a painting or a photo nicely framed to fit in well with the intended surroundings.
Next you will want to create and display your pins. The Selz store builder makes it easy to show off your work, while the stylish web design options will help your store to stand out from the competition. You can choose to sell hard enamel pins or soft enamel pins, or both if you desire. In the beginning, though, it’s generally best to choose one or the other to avoid being overwhelmed.
The type of business that requires active owner participation at all hours of the day may not be the best if you’re working a full-time job. For example, if you open a service business and customers want to see you during daytime hours, you’ll be limited to only your lunch break. In addition, it’s typically a bad idea to take phone calls during your full-time job or communicate via email. The best type of side business is one where you can dictate your own hours. After all, you don’t want your side business to endanger your full-time job or vice versa.

I receive at least 2 emails a day asking me for my expert opinion on a given company or website. Is so and so a legitimate company? Should I pay $49.95 to work with DataEntryBlahBlah.com? Honestly I'm not that much of an expert. I just know how to do a little research. If you're currently thinking about joining a work at home company and a fee is one of the requirements, put your wallet or purse down. Before you make a decision that you might regret, watch the video we created. By the end of watching this video, you'll never question whether or a not a company is a scam. You'll know with certainty if it is!
A jam business makes different flavors of jams and jellies, which are packaged into jars for distribution. Businesses may sell their jams to customers directly, or they might sell to retailers. These spreads are put on toast, used in cookies and cakes, and incorporated into many other foods. Jam businesses make different flavors of jams and jellies, which are sold to customers either directly or through retailers.
I would like to try several of the ideas.I would like to meet with you(as I’m sure so many others would) I have had similar ideas in the past.I don’t know if I have enough space to say all that needs to be said.Besides you would not get a feel of my true personality,which may be the #1 factor.To be totally honest money is not my main motivator.Helping people,to see someone do well for themselves,and get out of then caring and then to pass it on to others. THAT’s THE JOY!!
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