Not all entrepreneurs are able to jump right into full time business ownership. Some would rather start small or just stick with business ideas they can work on part time. If you fall into that category, have a look at the following list of side businesses you can start to provide supplemental income.
Make sure to also check out: A Guide to Taxes for Your Side Business
Side Businesses to Start
You can sell T-shirts and similar products with custom designs or artwork on any number of online platforms. Sites like CafePress and Redbubble will print the shirts and handle other aspects of the sale for you in exchange for a portion of each sale.
Set aside a day or two per week, or even just a small portion of each day, to visit clients’ homes and do a deep cleaning.
Set up a proofreading business online by letting clients send you their work and offering a few set prices or packages for your editing and proofreading services.
People hire virtual assistants for a variety of functions, from responding to emails to organizing schedules. You can offer those services from the comfort of your own home.
If you start a blog about a topic you’re really knowledgeable about, you can monetize it through advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate links or infoproducts.
You can easily open an eBay store for a number of different types of products, especially anything that’s highly collectible.
If you’re well-versed in photography and have the right equipment, you can set up photography appointments with clients on the weekend or just a few times throughout each week.
Transportation services like Uber and Lyft allow you to make extra money by driving customers to their destinations. And you can do it completely on your own schedule.
Social Media Manager
Offer your social media expertise to local businesses or small online businesses by setting up and managing their online accounts.
Yogis, you can offer classes or even private lessons in your home, a rented studio space, or even online.
If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, you can lead tour groups or offer informational services on the weekends.
Reach out to pet owners in your local community and offer to walk their dogs for a short time each day or even just a few times a week.
Lots of companies and even indiviuals will pay freelancers and Web professionals to design and create high-quality websites.
Offer to prepare tax returns for customers in exchange for a small fee. This side business is likely to be fairly busy during tax season, but not much throughout the rest of the year.
Anyone can write and self publish books these days. Just come up with a concept, write, and then sell your book on platforms like Amazon’s Kindle library.
If you’re knowledgeable about computers and technology, you can offer computer repair services to customers in your area.
Offer your services as a tutor to students that need help in a subject that you’re knowledgeable about.
Start a podcast where you talk about an interesting topic. And you can even charge for ads if your podcast has a sizeable base of listeners.
You can make money by watching people’s homes while they’re out of town. Build a client base in your area through word of mouth or even by using a site like Care.com.
Sell vintage clothing, accessories and home goods that you’ve collected over the years at local flea markets, antique booths or on sites like Etsy or eBay.
If you own multiple homes or properties, or have the resources to buy them, you can make a business out of renting them out.
For more short-term rentals, you can list your home or a part of your home on sites like Airbnb so that vacationers can pay to stay there.
You can offer dance classes or private instruction to adults or children in your home or a rented studio space.
Set up a website, blog or some social media profiles and earn money by posting affiliate links to relevant products or services.
If you have some mobile tech savvy, you can earn extra income by putting together applications for businesses or even making your own.
Charge a fee to put together professional looking resumes and/or cover letters for interested job seekers.
Estate Sale Service
When people have estate sales, they often use estate sale managers to help them put everything together. Charge a fee to help them organize the items and facilitate sales.
If you’re handy, you can help customers fix things around their homes and finish random tasks.
Help clients design and lay out their homes and guide them when it comes to other décor elements.
Mobile Laundry Service
You can provide laundry and folding services to local customers by picking up their items, washing and drying them and then returning them.
If you have a truck and some strength (or strong employees) you can help people in your area by packing their items and helping them move.
Got a unique idea for a new product? You can create the idea, get it patented and then sell the licensing rights to another company so you don’t have to spend the time manufacturing and shipping the items yourself.
Some businesses will pay people to place ads in their vehicles and drive around. You can offer up your own vehicle as another income stream.
Help clients get organized by going through their homes and/or offices and coming up with systems for storing and utilizing all of their items.
If you have some knowledge about homes and local codes, you can offer your services as an inspector for people who are buying and/or selling their homes.
With the growing popularity of smartphones, more people are in need of repair services for things like cracked screens or broken buttons.
Use your hair styling talents to offer cutting, coloring and/or styling services to local clients out of your home or a rented space.
Likewise, you can offer makeup services to people before special events or those looking to purchase new makeup products.
If you’re the DIY type, you can purchase cheap or used furniture and give it an upgrade with some paint or other unique touches.
When businesses or individuals go through construction or clean out their spaces, they may find themselves in need of junk removal services. If you have the right equipment, you can charge a fee to remove those items for clients.
Animal lovers, you can offer grooming services to dogs, cats and other furry friends out of your home.
Just as you can buy and resell physical items, you can purchase online domain names and then resell them to interested buyers.
Online Course Instructor
Share your knowledge on a particular subject with interested students by offering online courses.
Love baking? You can sell baked goods online, at events or to local businesses.
Or if you prefer putting together more all-inclusive meals, you can offer catering services on the weekends or for occasional events in your area.
If you’ve got some design savvy, you can offer your services to businesses looking for simple logos or other branding elements.
You can also offer your services as an illustrator for more in-depth pieces or even sell prints of your artwork.
You can build a variety of different items with wood, from furniture to small toys, and then sell them online or to local stores.
Help clients plan parties, weddings and other events by dealing with vendors, managing guest lists and organizing other aspects.
Use your writing skills to put together copy for websites or other professional outlets.
You can start a YouTube channel to share information about any number of topics that interest you. Then you can make money through ads or influencer promotions.
Social Media Influencer
You can also become an influencer on other social platforms, sharing information about various products and brands.
If you play an instrument or even sing, you can offer music or voice lessons out of your home or a rented space.
Photographers, you can take photos and submit them to stock photography sites so that people can use or purchase them for their own sites or content.
Offer your services as a DJ for bars, restaurants or even special events in your area.
Use your business knowledge to help others by offering coaching or consulting services to other business owners or related clients.
Or if you have interesting knowledge on a topic, you can offer your services as a speaker for various events.
Create your own unique jewelry designs and sell them online or at local craft fairs.
Or you can offer to mow lawns, pull weeds or do other landscaping work throughout the summer.
Share your athletic or fitness knowledge with clients through courses or personal training sessions.
Spend time outside and make some extra money during the summer months by offering to clean pools for people in your community.
If you know how to sew, you can offer alteration services to customers who need clothing or other fabric re-sized or changed in some way.
Child Care Provider
Babysitting or child care services make for a great side business. You can run a part time day care out of your home or just babysit for families on occasion.
Companies often hire voice actors to help with commercials, videos or other audio content. You can offer your services to those companies if you’ve got a unique or commanding voice.
You can also make some extra income by investing in businesses or even helping others choose where to invest their money.