My kids did an upscale sneaker and related goods boutique. This can be a lot of fun but it may be harder than you think to make money. First make absolutely sure your location has great foot traffic—stand there and count heads before you sign a lease! Then develop a distinctive plan for merchandising, and don’t be afraid to mark down what isn’t moving.
My book publishing business often bought books from packagers. What is a packager? Typically, a book packager would sell to a publisher a completed manuscript with the pages already laid out, and a book cover all ready to go. Book packagers tended to sell more complex book projects, such as books that were heavily illustrated or books that were “packaged” with another component. For example, we bought a book about chess, boxed with a small chess set, from a book packager.
Many people give up on their faulty laptops, mobile phones, or cameras without even looking into the cause of their malfunctions. If you have the skills to fix them, consider pursuing this side business idea of refurbishing and reselling used electronics in your free time.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin’s story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.
Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
This is a beer lover’s dream and sounds perfect for someone who’s already brewing beer at home. However, opening a brewery isn’t easy. Consider connecting with some brewery owners for advice, tips and guidance to see if this is a path you really want to take.
It’s amazing how you can have a business even if you are not working with technology. This shows that as long as you have the will to be of service to people, then you can create a business out of it.
Companies these days are expanding their office boundaries to incorporate the idea of working from home. These companies offer employees flexible working hours, better pay and freedom from office walls. Even though the internet is flooded with many online jobs, there are some that offer better pay. Here is a list of companies that pay $16 per hour or more to work from home. If this pay isn’t enough, I suggest this list of companies that $20 per hour or more.
Guest interactive murder mystery productions are very popular and no wonder–they are a lot of fun. You could do this on your own, renting a public venue and all that. But instead I would recommend that you partner up with a local business, such as an inn or restaurant, which could use an event like this to promote their business.
One thing that most small towns have in common is grass, lots, and lots of grass. Since small towns tend to be in rural areas, more residents are likely to have lawns and larger gardens. That means people will be on the hunt for lawn and gardening services. A few of the benefits to starting a business such as this in a small town is its predictability, reliability, and scalability. Once you begin finding customers, as long as you have quality services that are reasonably priced, you’re likely to keep the same customers for years. You’ll also be able to predict the repeat services that customers will need. Not only does grass need to be cut repeatedly, but lawns need to be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis. Lawn care is also an ideal small town business idea that will scale well. You can start off by offering a few services such as lawn and shrubbery care, but can later expand to offering landscaping services as well.
Beware of business propositions that seem to offer “something for nothing.” They probably involve taking something from somebody—usually you. There are innumerable variations, some more polished than others. Examples include pyramid schemes and advance-fee fraud.
Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.
Bridal shows can be an important marketing venue for the purveyors of wedding goods and services. You could start in this business by helping vendors prepare their display spaces at various shows, and then at some point you may want to organize your own bridal shows.
Protect your LLC status: Having an operating agreement makes your LLC more “legitimate” in the eyes of the court, especially if it is a solely owned LLC. Because there are many different types of business structures, you want to make sure that your LLC is recognized as an LLC and not something different. The formality of an operating agreement insures that your LLC will be seen as an LLC. 
The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going.
I also recommend FlexJobs. The company has an 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 100% legitimate.
Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product. Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers. But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties.
This is like a simplified version of a flower delivery service, but without an inventory that is constantly becoming obsolete! Plus, balloons suggest fun and light-hearted cheerfulness, perfect for many occasions!
Make your pitch to partners, friends and family or silent investors if you are seeking that type of money. Use your business plan to demonstrate that you have done your homework, have objective data that shows your concept is likely to work, and can project your income and expenses with hard numbers. Bankers and investors will often want to see your business plan and budget, according to Inc. magazine.
The Give & Grow Shopify app makes it easy to partner with charitable organizations and incorporate your mission into your business. You can set it up to donate a specific amount or a percentage of sales, or ask your customers to add a donation at checkout.
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea. My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is actually my current side business idea, and because I had an existing audience here on my blog at the time I launched the show, I was able to broker a $5,000 sponsorship from Freshbooks to place ads on the first ten episodes before I even got started.
Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.
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The antique market is not as lively as it used to be. But there’s still money to be had from the industry if you love rare old stuff and possess the skill of restoring them to their former glory. To start an antique refurbishing business at home, you’ll likely need a few thousand dollars to build out a basic workshop and stock it with all of the right treatments and materials in order to truly excel with this side business idea. Start small by borrowing around what you can, and learning the basics of the trade as a side hustle before investing in a ton of equipment.
Go on a shopping spree and get paid for it! Now that could be fun! But this work will also take some patience, such as getting to know your customers’ preferences and returning merchandise that your customer didn’t like as much as you did. However, if your clients like your work, they could retain you forever…and talk up your services with their friends!
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.
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you’ll have no trouble succeeding once you’re fully self-employed.
The California Small Business Development Center is a great resource if you need a little assistance coming up with funding opportunities. They’ve got dozens of locations across the state where you can go to discuss potential funding approaches for your business based on all the criteria above (and more).
This section includes legitimate word of mouth marketing and paid online survey sites, explains what mystery shopping is all about, lists great websites to swap items or services and tells you how to channel your inner Judge Judy.
Local: If you live in Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) or the Lane County Transit District (LTD), you will need to file and pay for transportation taxes. Learn more about mass transit payroll/excise tax from the Department of Revenue.
Stitch Fix – Read Review – Open to US only, specific states. You can work for Stitch Fix as a work at home stylist, putting together clothing subscription boxes for their clients. Should be non-phone, paying around $15 hourly.
Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
To jumpstart a used car leasing service, I would approach used car dealers and get them to offer leasing instead of just car financing. This way the used car dealer can increase their chances of closing a sale and you can even offer to sell the car back to the used car dealer for a fixed attractive price at the end of the lease term.
Before the bank grants a mortgage, they will require a real estate appraisal. So, this is a great, steady income business with the only overhead being your scooter to get you to your homes to be appraised.
Sole Proprietorship: The least formal structure of all — if you’re doing business on your own, you’re automatically seen as a sole proprietorship. There’s no need to file anything with the state, except perhaps a DBA (if you want to operate under a name aside from your own legal name). The main problem with this structure is that there’s nothing shielding you from business liability.
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.
Resource Recommendation: Once you’ve taken this first step, it’s time to start thinking about managing your finances going forward. If you’re not ready to hire an accountant, there are a bunch of reputable accounting software programs out there. We run through some of the best options in our top accounting software ranking.