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.
So where does the money come in? As your audience starts to grow and you begin attracting more and more traffic, a whole array of different blog monetization options will open up to you. It’s best to choose the most organic ways that won’t detract from your blog’s reputation. For example, if you’re blogging about walking as a hobby, start selling custom walking trail plans or promoting walking boots. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to have multiple sources of income, as any one of them can shrink unexpectedly. The five main categories of income streams that bloggers tend to adopt are:
Now for the completely strange and unexpected: Jon Colgan, founder and CEO of fintech startup CellBreaker, used his background in sustainability to help finance his business. “I also studied sustainability in school and became enamored of using worms to compost. As a third revenue source, I sell worms,” he says. “I discovered that happy worm populations double every 90 days. My worms are always happy. So, I started selling worms and vermicompost on Craigslist and by word-of-mouth.”

Domain trading has been around for decades, and while the best ones have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 million in 2009), there’s plenty of others you can get your hands on for relatively cheap. Earlier this year, I registered thelaunchformula.com for $11.95 because it was a catchy title for an upcoming course I’m filming. Since then, I’ve already received two offers to purchase it for just under $1,000.

Great read Lauren, always looking for extra ways to make cash. I just wanted to share something I’ve been doing recently. I run an office and have noticed that unused toner was piling up in storage. Looked into returning but that was no good. Tried out the site http://www.tonerconnect.net/ and was impressed. They had quick service and that payout was nice.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT or ACT, you’ll find that many parents are eager to shell out upwards of $100 an hour for the right tutor to help their kids gain entrance to the college of their choice. Begin with this checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business and look into taking the route of tutoring student for their regular coursework, which will net you closer to $17 an hour. If you’re a credentialed teacher, or have special certifications, you’ll be able to charge much higher rates for the right students.

With made-to-order fashion going mainstream, this industry is fueling a lot of side hustle opportunities. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and personalization-obsessed customers readily available. As long as you can get your hands on a commercial-grade sewing machine, start by offering to partner with local drycleaning and laundry services in exchange for referral fees every time they send you a new customer.
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.

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.
But that was 2007, and quite a bit has changed since then. Where a side business was once a novel idea, it has since become much more mainstream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelancers now make up around 15% of the workforce, compared to only 7% in 1995. And the trend isn’t expected to stop here. The BLS reports that freelancers and self-employed individuals may comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.
This business is great for artists, giving them a venue to create their own designs and sell them via t-shirts. It is also great for those with strong community ties, as it lets them build long-lasting relationships providing t-shirts for various high school clubs, small businesses, local churches, and other organizations. Finally, it's a good business for savvy social media users as they can leverage these skills to reach diverse audiences of customers online.
Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
I’ve always been interested in the idea of self-publishing, but I am not entirely sure how to do that. I’ve researched it and created an account on Amazon, but how do I know that I can trust the cite with my bank account. I’m also not sure how to know what price I should sale my book at. The tax information is confusing for me too. I am not a numbers person. Just getting through reading all the terms and conditions of publishing on Amazon took me a while. Any advice?

A greeting card business sells greeting cards to customers. These greeting cards can be for a number of occasions, including birthdays, holidays, reunions and even funerals. Cards can either be sold directly to customers or to retail dealers. If they’re sold to a retail dealer, the dealer then sells the cards to customers. Some greeting card businesses operate online, selling cards to shoppers and shipping them.

Says Abbey Finch, who used freelance writing to help fund her startup Scribe Space, “I also surprisingly got a lot of luck using Craigslist and Odesk to find new work. I did everything from writing for a local, free newspaper covering town council meetings to writing how-to guides for eBay. I’ve written for lawyers, doctors, home improvement specialists, a wedding band, and so much more.”
Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn't take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there's already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you're delivering clients.

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.
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.
When setting up your online store with Selz, you can customize your products by choosing the perfect font from hundreds of options. At Selz, we know that choosing the right font is a key method of branding your product. We also know that the first option you try likely won’t be your final choice; so make sure to preview multiple fonts, and keep in mind the ways that this design choice enhances the product you are selling. Soon you will be making some side-income from your passion.
A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
Great list…a few are a bit humorous. Nevertheless, side money is still side money. An I am a firm believer that everyone should have something they do on the side. From my own personal experience, having something on the side helps takes the pressure of the main income source (both mentally and financially). If all you have is a single source of income, and if for whatever reason that source of income is threatened, the news is almost always devastating and life changing.
Although babysitting is not a new business venture, the earning potential, as well as the technical aspects of the business have increased exponentially in recent years. Demand for qualified and reliable individuals to monitor and interact with children is growing daily. This service is generally provided either at the client’s residence, but can be offered in hotels, event venues, or in the babysitter’s home.
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.
This step is more for someone who does online writing/blogging as their side business. For bloggers, a content calendar is a godsend and is something you should be doing every month (in my opinion.) If you run a small business or online store, calendars can help you complete priority tasks, keep up with email marketing and social promotions. Even if you don't blog, you need to have some type of calendar for all of the marketing activity you're doing to, well, market your business.
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.
In this economy, it’s more conceivable to develop multiple streams of income than it is to earn more money from a single job. Given the number of people losing their jobs, this may be a safer tactic as well and a side business can be a good way to do this. Whether you want to keep it simple as just a source of extra income, or develop it into a full-time business, the choice yours.
It’s one thing to make a few extra bucks on the side so you can go out to a nice dinner or buy a nice pair of shoes, but if you want to walk away as quickly as possible you’re going to need to up your side hustle game. You need to move beyond simply trading your hours for a limited amount of money, and transition to thinking about side hustling as a way to become your own boss and create financial freedom.
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.

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.


Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that's what I love most.

The first obstacle everyone encounters when starting a side hustle is the idea. There have been a lot of articles published with “business ideas you can start this weekend.” The problem is, these “business ideas” consist of things like delivering groceries, babysitting, getting a minimum wage job or even becoming a barber (I kid you not, that was a real suggestion). Those are all incredibly lame options!

If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
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.
While this suggestion could not be further from the standard small business loan, it cannot be denied that the strategy paid off. The company has now earned around $1.65 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, Spark Capital and Chicago Ventures, and has been named one of the Top 5 Silicon Beach Startups to Watch by Entrepreneur.
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.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you'll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp. Then once you're an expert at your craft, you can further your education and move up to offering  more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.
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.

If you enjoy writing and have a talent for words, then this popular side business idea is right up your alley. Start by creating quality content and building up a subscriber base among your readers. Monetize your blog by featuring advertising, adding products to sell, and setting up affiliate marketing. Between these different revenue streams, you can earn a nice profit from something you already enjoy doing.
Etiquette training gives lessons to people of all ages on the proper way to conduct oneself in a variety of settings, especially in the professional world. Etiquette can cover how to act in both international and domestic settings, from a formal dinner in Japan to a debutante ball in Georgia. As globalization becomes more common, these types of lessons can be invaluable for many companies and professionals. Etiquette trainers may give online lessons or in-person lessons, depending of their budget and location. The instructions may be anything from cell phone etiquette for teenagers to the best way to send a thank you letter after a job interview.
As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes. You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.
If you have an idea and can help people, pay attention. Whether it is motivating someone, helping them pass a class, or teaching them how to build a website, this can all be done online. Setup you’re pricing, terms, and accept payment through something as simple as PayPal and you are on your way. I recommend using Skype or Google Hangouts since it is 100% free. Help someone and get paid – genius.
A survey company creates, distributes, and analyzes surveys for a variety of businesses or special interests. The purpose is to collect feedback before deciding to alter policies or processes to improve efficiency and overall satisfaction. Owners may either work on a per-case basis, or choose to specialize in a specific niche. For example, a survey company that only administers surveys to students about their professors.
Time to get scrappy! Start building it all out yourself with Wordpress or any other free software out there until you can get going and hire/partner with someone. Then you’ll not only have something to SHOW these guys, but it’ll also show *them* that you’re doing what it takes to make this vision of yours a reality and that you’re super passionate about it. Everyone has a million ideas out there and it would be awesome to have partners right fromt he start who believe in it and willing to jump in to build it for free/peanuts, but sadly it doesn’t usually work out that way. Gotta just get out there and start DOING IT and hack it together as you go… If it’s a good idea (and you’re truly passionate about it), you’ll find a way to make it work :)
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I've shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.
Furniture flipping is actually a really fun business. I’ve dabbled in this myself a time or two, and it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks if you don’t mind putting in the time. What you do is scour garage sales, Craigslist, or even the side of the road on trash day looking for furniture that’s in need of a little TLC. Then, take the time to fix, refinish, or paint the furniture, and resell it for a profit.
Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?
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