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.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson’s lead with what he’s doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings. Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid–general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next.
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you’re leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.
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.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags, and more become canvases for your creativity. You can think up witty slogans for developers or references that resonate with cat owners—if there’s passion and pride within a community, there’s a potential t-shirt business you can start.
You can curate products from different suppliers into your own online store under a theme that focuses on a specific niche, like mats for yoga enthusiasts or water bowls for dog owners. When a customer buys a product from you, the order is sent to your supplier who fulfills it on your behalf. However, you are still responsible for your own customer service.
People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. And a lot of people just aren’t very good at it either. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!
Healthy Hands Cooking provides stay-at-home moms with a passion for nutrition and kids, the chance to make a healthy income while making a difference in kids’ lives. Keep 100% of your income, empower kids in your community with vital, healthy living skills, and LOVE WHAT YOU DO!
Expenses. These are the costs for operations that occur during the start-up phase. They include tax-deductible costs such as travel, payroll, rent, office supplies, marketing materials, etc. They also include initial organizational costs like legal fees and state incorporation fees. Many (but not all) of these costs are tax deductible, up to $5,000 in the first year of doing business. You can deduct the remaining costs in equal instalments over a period of 180 months (starting with the month in which your business opens).
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
One additional thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your coffee shop design appeals to both a mid-day and a post-work crowd. Nothing says small town charm like a simple, relaxed business layout. Opting for a design concept that is genuine and modest will suit most customers and provide that small town ambiance patrons crave.
This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.
Sseko – Run your own ethical fashion business with Sseko! You’ll fall in love with the amazing handcrafted and on-trend products. Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity for women globally. We provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty. We do this through a financially self-sustaining model, one that also enables us to create opportunity for women in the U.S. to earn an income: The Sseko Fellows Program. As a Sseko Fellow, you get to share the Sseko story and sell beautiful products of the highest quality. You’ll become an integral part of making dreams come true for women in Uganda while you simultaneously earn an income for yourself! We’ve got a vibrant community of women ready to welcome and mentor you as you get started… and every step of the way!
Americans purchase on average 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. While sales are estimated between $7 and $8 billion annually, according to the Greeting Card Association, many of these cards are now purchased in big box stores, such as Target and Walmart. Those living in small towns often don’t have access to these types of stores, at least not in their immediate vicinity. Providing the people of your town with a place to not only purchase cards but gifts as well is a prime retail opportunity. The variety and diversity of products you can carry are endless, which allows you the freedom to play around with your inventory until you find that special mix of products for your small town business.
This is one of those businesses that not everyone wants to do, so the profits tend to be above average. Furthermore, you don’t have to collect just by telephone. You can send emails, mail letters and more. Make sure you know all the legal restrictions before you start!
Regardless of the business idea you choose for your small town, proper planning is essential to the success of the business. And since owning a small business is both a major lifestyle and time commitment, make sure your choice is one you see bringing you both profit and joy for the foreseeable future.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
Travelers with pets are particularly likely to want someone to come to their home or look after their dogs or cats. You can offer this service to people you know and let your client base grow out from there.
You can make good money at this business but you need great locations that provide enough volume to make it worthwhile to service provide a decent return on your investment. I have even seen some entrepreneurs try selling snacks at companies without any machine at all…totally on the honor system. Still another variant you could do is provide coffee, soft drinks or basic snack food for a company location and try to get the company to pick up the cost as a benefit for its employees.
Do not go ahead with sponsorship until both sides have agreed on what to expect from each other and a written agreement is drawn up and attested in the local court. Do not rely only on verbal understanding.
If you love pets, this home-based business could be a good fit. You can either care for pets in your own home or care for your clients’ pets in their homes. You’ll need to be reliable and have a flexible schedule to meet the needs of your clients.
Skilled at creating blankets and sweaters? There’s a huge market for these types of items – even better, you can usually make them in your spare time whenever you have it. As always, local shops and sites like Etsy are great venues to sell such items.
As I’ve already covered with TeeSpring, the T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars. But what if you want to do the manufacturing side of things? T-shirt printing turns out to be quite a rewarding business idea for many each year, but can quickly consume much of your side business idea time—so know what you’re getting into before diving in. This multi-billion dollar industry counts big corporate factories as well as home-based part-time entrepreneurs.
You could try to do this business online…but of course the issue is getting people the right size. You could even send several sizes if they are not sure of their size. Or you could have a storefront. You don’t need a fancy location or expensive buildout. There is a formal wear rental facility near me that has been very successful for decades, and the storefront looks like it was last remodeled about 50 years ago.
Alternatively, if your business is more oriented toward the “in person” experience, traditional marketing may be just as important. For example, if you’re starting a landscaping business, focus on getting the word out to neighbors before starting a website
You would think that in this day and age of electronic communication that messengers were something of the past—but no messenger services are still vibrant. In larger cities bicycle courier services are popular and in smaller cities local messenger services rely exclusively on cars.
As you know, many people opt to contact companies via email rather than by chat or phone. Because of this, some companies do hire for work at home email support. These jobs are a little hard to find, I come across very few when I’m researching work at home job leads. You can read this blog post for everything I’ve been able to find about these jobs.
If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
Each of these ideas is very simple to start, and most can be done as a sole proprietorship at first (meaning you don’t have to file any legal documents to get started, though you will want to do that if it starts to take off). Most of these can be done at home in your spare time, and in your spare space, too.
I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors. However, he came back again with still another cookie line. Everyone loves a fancy cookie and it’s an easy food to both differentiate and to charge a premium for.
Before you hit the ground running with your Colorado business, you need to have a business plan prepared. A well-crafted business plan is crucial for securing funding and tracking the progress of your business.
Find your state’s LLC laws. The name that you choose for your LLC must comply with your state’s laws. While there will be variation, most states do not allow LLC names that are duplicates of existing business names or extremely similar to an existing name. States also may have other restrictions on the type of name you can choose.
Choose an adventure really carefully. One that people will easily pay good money for. “Focus group” it. At least informally ask lots of people for their feedback on a suggested adventure before you put any money into marketing it. Then when you do offer your first trip, make it incredible! Research it carefully and surpass people’s expectations. On your first few trips it is more important to build a great experience and a great reputation, then to make a lot of money right out of the gate.
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).
In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: It fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself.
Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop. That’s where you come in. Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers!
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.
Skilled at basic home repair? Let people know that they can call you for small repair jobs like basic plumbing, fixing a broken stair, and other things. You’d be amazed at the simple things people are willing to pay others to help them with.
I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!
Virtual Office Temps offers professional business services: clerical support, administration, creativity, management, sales support and personal services. Apply to be a home-based virtual assistant and make $10 – $35 per hour based on the project.
Apparently you have to be seen to be appreciated by your coworkers, so, if it’s possible, you might want to get out of the house and show up at the office once in a while. (Plus, you might start feeling a little lonely — and lose a little too much sleep.)
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
He strives for excellence in all he does and brings out the best in his people through guidance, a strong vision and support. He is exceptionally open-minded, flexible, dependable, understanding and straightforward in all words and actions and encourages personal as well as professional growth.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.