There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store!
Know your target market. We already discussed this briefly in Step 1, but it’s worth drilling in. If you don’t know who you’re selling to — specifically — there’s no way you’ll be able to market to them successfully.
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
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.
Business startup Dubai has always been encouraged in Dubai. No wonder Dubai is starting to attract the eye of business investors since it started to show its economic stability to the international market.
With that in mind, I put together this massive list of the 101 Best Side Business Ideas You Can Start While You’re Still Working a Full-Time Job, to help give you inspiration with proven side business ideas that can be executed on while you still keep your day job—and primary source of income.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
Before you do any estimating, it’s important to understand how start-up costs are categorized. All start-up costs (meaning costs in the period before you start generating income) include two kinds of spending: expenses and capital expenditures.
If you have ever lived in a small town and entertained houseguests, you’ve probably often wished that your town had a bed and breakfast. Though small towns with a tourism industry will often have historical inns or at least a motel or two, towns that aren’t exactly Plymouth, MA or Williamsburg, VA often go without. That means no place for the in-laws to stay or guests for a family reunion or wedding. Opening a small inn or bed and breakfast can help fill a need in your area. If you’re worried about being able to keep your rooms booked, go small. Bed and breakfast owners tend to live in the same homes they manage, often converting their larger homes into B&Bs. This is a great idea for those who have recently become empty nesters with too many rooms to fill. If you’re later in life and looking for business ideas for small towns, this concept is a great one to explore.
It’s clear by now that we’re major proponents of leveraging modern software when starting a business, and marketing is no exception. There are hundreds of programs out there designed to help entrepreneurs like you market their budding businesses, from ROI calculators to social media management tools.
VarageSale is an online marketplace for families who want to sell their unwanted items to people in their neighborhoods. Once approved for a community, members can sell and buy everything from children’s clothing to cars at a fraction of the retail price. An added bonus: members meet and develop closer ties with their neighbors.
Potential challenges: You’re responsible for the safety and well-being of people, so getting the proper insurance and setting up the right legal structure is a must. It can be a stressful business to run, with long hours and frequent travel required.
Have a talent for crafting or creating other handmade goods? From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is one of the world’s largest independent marketplaces that’s perfect for anyone who is creative and willing to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best home business ideas that can be started as a side hustle with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology. Then, after you’re able to build your brand and grow your own audience, you can start an eCommerce site of your own and retain a larger portion of the revenue from your product sales—making this a very lucrative potential business idea if you’re able to find an audience that loves your products.
Have more than the minimum. You may determine it will take $50,000 to start your business, and that’s fine. You get your $50,000, buy your desks and printers and raw materials, and then then the second month arrives, and you’re still in production, and the rent is due, and your employees want to be paid, and all the bills hit at once. When this happens, your only likely recourse will be to pack it in. If you can, try to have the reserves for a year of no income.
If your business provides a service, you may also want to consider professional liability insurance. It covers you if you do something wrong or neglect to do something you should have done while operating your business. Learn more about the types of insurance policies your business might need here.
LLC (Limited Liability Company): Again, this is the most popular business structure because it offers the protection of a corporation without the double taxation or intensive legal upkeep. LLCs also get more versatile taxation options. If your company includes two members or more, you can choose to be treated as a partnership or corporation, while single-member LLCs can opt to be taxed as a sole proprietorship.
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.
Now that you’ve got your financial foundation set up, it’s time to get some money rolling in. Colorado is said to have the strongest economy in the U.S., so there are tons of funding opportunities are there — but not all of them are right for every new business.
You can get started by opening a center at home. You set the age group of children to accept, how many kids to care for at a given time, and the hours of operation, although this will depend on the needs of your clients.
Federal: The Small Business Association website has tons of helpful information on federal tax requirements and federal licenses and permits. The business taxes page on the IRS website is also an excellent resource.
Get your personal credit in the best shape possible. Start by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com to get free copies of your three personal credit reports. If you apply for a business loan or credit card, lenders will evaluate your personal credit. Follow the steps required by Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, outlined on their websites, to challenge any incorrect information on your credit reports.
Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.
Events like family reunions and large parties are often full of busywork that many people simply don’t want to tackle. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination. And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services.
To get started in fence installation I would first offer fence repair services. I think a lot people like me first try to repair their aging fence a few times before totally replacing it. This is a good niche business.
Sometimes these are full-service firms that not only do the design but also perform the work. The closer your expertise and confidence allow you to get towards high-end landscape design, the higher an income you will be able to command.
Everyone wants their small business to be successful, with multiple locations, lots of employees and loads of revenue, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don’t spread yourself too thin or take on too many expenses at the beginning, especially if your income might take a while to catch up to your ambitions.
Liveops is a virtual call center company. They hire at-home agents to perform inbound and outbound calls for customer service, customer acquisition, customer retention, revenue maximization, political, disaster relief, incident response, and fundraising.
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible of the non-phone options, and it’s an easy field to break into without any experience at all! This is also an industry that can pay well, especially if you forgo content sites (such as the ones below) and work on finding private clients that will agree to the rates you set. The content sites don’t pay that well, but they can still help you get valuable writing experience and earn a weekly paycheck.
This is very competitive. Just a few feet away from me in the co-share space I am working in currently, several young people started an Internet based food service, but gave up after a few months. But there is a huge demand for food delivery both from restaurants and grocery stores, and you just might be able to make a go of it!
Lyft is a smartphone app where you can make money using your car to drive others around town. Drivers get a portion of ride fees from passengers. The money is deposited into your account each week, or you can cash out instantly with Express Pay. According to their website, if you were to drive 10 hours per week in Austin, Texas you’d earn $160!
I would only recommend trading a collectible that you really love! If you are dealing with your favorite collectible, the work will be more enjoyable, it will be easier to increase your expertise, and you will be much more likely to be successful. The online options today allow you to specialize much more deeply than in the past because you can reach a global market. So, within your favorite collectible space, find a particular niche or two and focus sharply on it.
CrowdFlower is a virtual workspace where you can earn money by completing simple tasks on your computer. Tasks include Internet research, data collection, data categorization, content creation, content moderation, surveys, etc. While I was unable to find any information on pay rates and how and payments are made, CrowdFlower does have an A rating on the Better Business Bureau website and has been featured on sites like Forbes, the LA Times, and Telecrunch.
#43 – Testing Time is a business opened to a global audience looking for an opportunity to share their opinions and get paid $50 per study made. You must have access to a Skype account and work a minimum of 90 minutes. The payment takes almost a week to process.
Want to be sure if your business idea is indeed unique? Run a test and find out. A pilot will give you the confidence you need to take your idea to the next level and mitigate risk. You can start on a small scale by giving away some freebies to a few people in your target audience group to see how they respond.
You still need to come up with a solid idea, build a brand, do marketing, and provide customer service. But you won’t have to keep a stack of products in your living room or ship every order yourself.
Potential challenges: It’s a seasonal type of business, as wedding bookings are likely to slow down in the winter — though this depends on where you live. As a result, you may need to get creative when it comes to stretching your earnings throughout the year.
A lot of people don’t know how or don’t want to go through the trouble of recycling large items like computers. So you could offer the service of picking up those items for a fee and taking them to the proper recycling outlets.
Thanks to a combination of technology and third party suppliers, it’s easier than ever to build a business and start making sales without getting caught up in sourcing products and managing inventory.
Finding a legitimate work at home typing job is a full time career! You search high and low and all you find is people asking you for money that you’re trying to make, not give away! Well I’d like to share my story of how I secured my very first and only legitimate work from home typing job. I’m sure after you read it, it will help you secure one too!
If you can make anything from clothing to candles, you can work on creating those items in your home or workshop and then travel to different craft fairs in your community or around the world to sell them.
Below is a list of almost every non-phone work at home job I’ve reviewed here, with two links for each listing. One link will take you to the review of that company, and the other will take you directly to the page you need to sign up.
RaesWear – Reach your financial goals selling products all women love! RaesWear sells luxurious, hands-free athleisure clothing that allows women to exercise, run errands, push strollers, or go out on the town without the worry of arm bands, fanny packs, or purses! With a patented product, you won’t worry about competition from imitators and the market is ripe to grow your business as this is the fastest growing apparel segment in the United States. Join now, earn up to 30% commissions, and have an opportunity be a Founding Member of our growing organization. Contact us today – firstname.lastname@example.org.
WineShop At Home – Frequently recognized at international wine competitions, our wines are deliciously different, wonderfully one-of-a-kind and exclusive to us. WineShop At Home Independent Wine Consultants earn an income by marketing our artisan wines through in-home Wine Tastings and they have FUN doing so. Tasting & learning about wine with friends, what’s not to love? Come for the Taste and Stay for the Lifestyle with us! Three Business Kits to choose from starting at $79. Contact Shelley Whitmarsh-Beal, Director of Field Development @ Shelley@wineshopathome.com for more info.
If you want to speed up the process of building your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like HostGator and then hiring a talented freelance designer or web developer on a high quality marketplace like Crew in order to free up more of your time to utilize 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.
5. Capture the big benefit of your concept using a few highly impactful words. This is what I refer to as your ‘one sentence benefit statement.’ It needs to pack a punch! Your goal is to pique the receiver’s curiosity quickly. Yours should make the receiver think: “I want to know more about that.”