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Gift Basket Service: Trying to provide for everyone’s tastes will be an enormous challenge, so choose a niche market such as pet lovers, animal lovers, women, men, teenagers or seniors and cater for their specific needs. If you have hand made products such as soaps, why not create a gift basket service around your product? Try to find something unique that will give your service that extra boost. Do some research on what the people in your chosen niche would like to buy?
The era of the home entrepreneur has very much arrived. With one of these business ideas and the right attitude and preparation, you can build a solid and successful business in the comfort of your own home.
If you know how to play an instrument well then you could teach others and charge them for doing so. This business could be run in your spare time with little start-up costs and you could charge a good amount for one to one tuition. There are plenty of local online classifieds such as Gumtree where you could advertise.
I published a book by Don Dwyer who was the king of the carpet cleaners—having made many millions building a gigantic carpet cleaning business franchise system. This business isn’t glamorous, I remember Don talking about the best ways to get dog urine stains out of carpet, but the demand and the money-making opportunity is huge!
Nearly all businesses understand the importance of maintaining a social media presence, but not everyone can afford to bring in a full-time social media manager. Contract yourself out as a social media manager and spend your days tweeting, posting to Facebook, and snapping Instagram pics. If social media is your second skin, this could be a great home-based business idea for you.
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.
Know your competition. If you plan on working from home locally, look around town for other businesses offering the same services or products. You’ll have to figure out if there is enough business left for you in your area. If you plan to work online, you’re dealing with a very crowded market in most cases, so you’ll have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel’s great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you’ll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
Helping clients design and decorate their homes can be a fun business opportunity for design-oriented entrepreneurs. And though there are some online tools that can help with those processes, it isn’t as necessary as a keen eye for design.
Do you have a way with words? Freelance copywriting is a good way to make money working from home. Companies large and small will pay someone handsomely to take basic information and add a bit of flair. If a smooth turn of phrase has been known to come forth from your pen, freelance copywriting might just be for you. It takes networking, but once you have a portfolio to show your worth, you’ll be able to prove to clients that you’re exactly the writer they need. And, as a bonus, if you’re naturally inquisitive and love storytelling, you might be able to spin your copywriting gig into a career as a freelance journalist.
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.
Awning Cleaning Service: Ideal for a business run from home with flexible working hours, no skills required and low start-up costs. Target homes and commercial awning signs. Have a list of all the benefits your cleaning service provides and start door knocking.
Lunch Delivery Service: Ideal if you live near offices. Do your research before starting. See if you have competitors and what they are offering at what price. Survey office workers – what type of sandwiches would they like to have? What are they currently paying and willing to pay you? Use pamphlets with a list of sandwiches and prices, and when you will deliver. Deliver on time!
The idea of this business is that you can personalize just about anything your customers may want. T-shirts, hats, mugs, pens…you name it. Initially you may want to outsource all of the work, but if your business takes off you may want to bring some of the personalization processes in–house to further boost your profit margins.
When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there. Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs.
Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.
Are you a foodie? Create and sell food products, from gourmet peanut butter to spicy sauces and salsas, the niches available are endless. Try testing out your food creation on a smaller site like Foodzie or learn how to bring your food product to market.
Always remember to personally connect with neighbors, friends, and family and let them know about your services. You can also check out third-party platforms like Care.com, SitterCity, and Task Rabbit where they connect caretakers with caregivers. If you are connected with a job on one of these platforms they’ll take a small percentage of the total transaction fee. In fact, the on-demand economy has made it easier than ever to make money on demand — to find out more check out this post.
This is one of the most popular small businesses in the world! And no wonder! Everyone needs to have it done and many people don’t like to do it! It is also a business that can be challenging to get your employees to consistently do a fantastic job. That’s why this business is particularly well-suited for both solo entrepreneurs and an entrepreneur who runs one single crew of cleaners.
If you understand design and have a passion for décor, a career in interior design could be a great path for you. While you may not technically need a formal education to be an interior designer, having a bachelor’s degree in interior design will definitely give you a huge leg up in the field. But if working for a design firm doesn’t feel right to you, try running your own interior design business from your home.
If you want to broaden your services and earn more, you can opt to make the entire house look neat and clean with this side business idea. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle sales, administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor, learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations with the help of cleaning business management tools like Swept. Beyond that, I’d recommend checking out Cleaning Zoom’s ultimate guide to starting a cleaning business if you plan on taking this business idea seriously.
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.
User interface and user experience matters big time on your website! That’s why they have often become a separate business from website development/coding. You can earn an advanced degree in this field, you can read books about it or you can learn it on your own.
You have an eye for clothes and know what styles look best on what body types. So turn your passion for fashion into a business by becoming a personal stylist/shopper. You’ll feel good about making others look great.
There are a lot of building maintenance services that don’t require an electrician or a plumber and can be done by someone with basic handyman skills. You could provide that service for commercial, industrial or multi-family housing units. You could also have highly skilled people such as plumbers and electricians on call too.
If you don’t want to go the Airbnb route, but still have a room or private area to rent, then you can always become a landlord or start your own bread and breakfast. The real money is if you live in tourist areas, but I’ve known plenty who have purchased homes in emerging neighborhoods when purchasing homes were cheap and now making a ton of cash renting out these homes or apartments.
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.
The sweet parlor is another business. People often look for sweet in a festival or on occasions. You can serve their need by opening sweet parlor. This is one of the good small scale business ideas to start.
You can start as a personal trainer at a local gym. Then try going out on your own. Being known for a particular expertise can help. Then someday you can open your own gym. Maybe even franchise it and go global!
I have taken the opportunity to take one of your listings on bookkeeping and have signed up to do the free course, do you think it will be beneficial for me to do it despite being in South Africa and the course based in the US?
Recently, I received an email from an individual who was desperately seeking a legit, online, work from home business opportunity. This person had currently moved to a very rural area of town and was unable to commute to work. Another obstacle that this individual faced was the issue of needing money ASAP to pay for bills and daily living expenses, but they still wanted the flexibility and perks of being their own boss.
Forget about business cards (at least at first) or trying to get travel agencies to recommend your guide service. If you know an area well, you simply sign up with a website like Vayable.com and let them find your customers for a cut of the revenue.
I can’t believe how busy the driving range near me is. They must have 50 driving stations. And they don’t even have a real golf course, although they do have kind of a long pitch and put course. You might think you don’t have enough money to finance a driving range. But you can lease the land and drop a store-built little shed on the property to get started.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t really an at-home business, as most of the work takes place outside the home. But for dog lovers who don’t want other people’s pets staying overnight, dog walking is a viable business idea with a low barrier to entry. Still, there are considerations including researching the state of your local dog-walking market and addressing licensing and insurance concerns.
Darren the more I learn, the more I realize that I have so much to learn. At the beginning I knew I had a lot to learn, and I have learned a lot, but as I have moved further along my eyes have been opened to things that I couldn’t understand at the beginning. Anyway, it is a good thing that there is always room to grow.
Becoming a massage therapist requires proper training and licensing, but if you’re looking for a great career to pursue that you can also turn into a home-based business, massage therapy might be the right choice for you. And with a massage therapy business, you have options: You can either invite clients into your home for appointments, or make house calls for massages.
One of the best ways to keep a grocery budget—and a waistline—in check is to do meal planning. But for some, this kind of planning is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. A meal planner could put together a list of a week’s recipes, along with a grocery list, for a harried but budget-conscious shopper.
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!
Tablet/Smartphone Repair Service: Almost everyone has a tablet or smartphone these days but getting it repaired is impossible and costly. If you have the skill and knowledge to do this, it is a great business opportunity.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
For many entrepreneurs, importing products from abroad is part of their business plan. However if you have never imported before then there is often a lot to learn. If you are an expert in importing and exporting products then you could sell this skill by helping entrepreneurs to import supplies and export their own products.
These writers put together promotional materials for businesses, including ads, websites, newsletters, commercials, direct mailings, and many others. Copywriters generally have a degree in advertising, marketing, English, or communication, but any excellent writer can do a great job copywriting. Median salary: $55,000.
Can you find the needle in the haystack? If so, becoming an online internet researcher may be the perfect home-based business for you. Every day companies, writers, and marketers need research done, and they are willing to pay you good money for your hard work.
Much like the first point, once the time is right this process will help you to decentralize control and make handing over the reigns easier (so you can focus on growth). Sales and marketing, finance, HR and administration are all separate sectors to be cognizant of.