Having a side business offers you an opportunity to earn extra money while carrying your full-time job. Neither you need to leave your full-time job, a side business helps you explore a whole different genre. While you still can have your old job with you, a side business will let you be an entrepreneur. Find below, our curated list of the top side business ideas you can start with little money.
A side business is a venture that people pursue in addition to their principal income. This form of business is often done on a part-time basis. It allows people to explore their entrepreneurial interests, diversify their revenue streams, or pursue a passion outside of their primary professional commitments. According to a report from Zapier, 40% of Americans have a side business in 2022.
50 Side Business Ideas
1. Start a Blog
You can share your expertise or passion through a blog and earn money. It can earn through paid advertisements, Google Adsense, and promoting products. There are plenty of niches you can explore like photography, food, sports, etc, and make good money. It will allow you to express yourself creatively, build a community, and potentially earn income through ads or sponsorships.
2. Stock Photographer
If your part-time hobby is capturing photographs, make some money with them. You can continue taking up photos, but from now instead of saving them on your computer, you will submit them to stock photography sites. People who like your photos will be able to use or purchase them for their sites or their content.
3. Social Media Influencer
Do you have a good social media following? Well, use that to collaborate with brands and companies for partnerships and sponsorships. You can be an influencer on different social platforms by sharing information about their products, new launches, and more.
Teaching someone can be fulfilling and pocket-friendly at the same time. You can sell your services as a tutor to students by teaching them in your free time.
Start with the subject you are good at. You can either choose to teach your students online or in person. Tutoring is among the all-time popular side business ideas for people who enjoy sharing their expertise.
Starting a podcast can be a great side business. While you will have to upload your episodes when you are free, you can choose to talk about interesting topics. There are different platforms where you can upload your podcasts and can charge for ads. When you gain a sizeable base of listeners, you can even sponsor products and services.
6. Online Course Instructor
Most of the interested users now do a course online, instead of doing it at any school or center. If you know a particular subject, start to upload your classes for different courses. Interested students will pay you directly for your online courses, and the platforms will charge a commission.
7. Tax Preparer
If you are a financial expert, you can help people prepare their tax returns in your free time. This is a lucrative side business, and you can build your customer base without any prior investment. The tax return side business could be fairly busy during tax season, so make sure you take some good time out during these days.
8. Website Designer
You can learn to design a website within a few days by doing a short course on website design. There are small companies and even individuals who need such services online. You can start to work as a freelancer to offer professional web design services.
9. eBook Writer
As the world has taken up technology with open hands, people have changed ways with it. Reading has seen a huge transformation, and people now read on the internet than buying books. If you have something to share, you can write and self-publish ebooks. You can also sell your book on platforms like Amazon’s Kindle library.
10. Home-Baed Bakery
Do you have any good ideas for baking? You can sell baked goods from home on the side. Sell your bakery items through online food delivery apps, at events, or to local businesses. Also, if you want to operate on a large scale, you can start your commercial kitchen later.
11. Catering Business
Do you like putting together all-inclusive meals? Well if you do, you can start a part-time catering business. You can do it whenever you want to, and you can offer your services exclusively on the weekends or for occasional events.
12. Logo Designer
If you think you have some creative skills, put that to use to make some money. Begin with a short logo designing course online, and soon you can be a professional logo designer. Start to offer services online to businesses looking for simple logos or branding elements.
Are you an art person? Well, if you can draw, make use of it to make some side money. Illustrations are always in demand, and good illustrators can make good money as a freelancer. You can your services as an illustrator for businesses for in-depth pieces. You can also sell the prints of your artwork.
You can use your creative skills to create some fantastic artwork. Wood items sell well, and you can build a variety of different items with wood. As a part-time woodworker, you can sell furniture or small toys from home. You can also sell different wood items online or at local stores.
15. Event Planner
Event planning is the next big thing happening in the service industry and one of the most popular side business ideas. You can start as a part-time event planner to help clients plan their parties. Some of the event planning services you can offer are related to weddings, music events, small birthday parties, and more. As you scale up, you can start to manage bigger events by organizing the whole arrangement.
16. Portrait Photographer
Are you someone who has some good photo-taking skills? Well, if you are well-versed in photography, put that to use to make some money. Instead of starting as a full-time photographer, you can work as a specialized portrait photographer with a few types of equipment.
17. Uber/ Lyft Driver
Do you have a car? If you do, start to use it as your weekend side business service. Online cab aggregators like Uber and Lyft allow you to make extra money. And at the same time, you have the ease to work in your free time. You can schedule your own time without any compulsory time hours.
Software and apps can’t proofread everything. Often some documents are to be read by humans for errors and statement framing. You can start a proofreading business online by letting clients send you their work. Set charges and offer your services in the form of packages for your editing and proofreading.
If you want to learn how to become a professional proofreader, check out the Proofread Anywhere online course, which will provide you with all of the necessary instructions. Editing and proofreading jobs can also be found on freelancing marketplaces such as Upwork.
19. Graphic Designer
Customized graphic t-shirts are a hit business now. While already there are people producing t-shirts at a mass scale, unique designs or artwork are rare. You can create your designs to sell on platforms like CafePress and Redbubble in exchange for a commission for each sale.
20. Virtual Assistant
Companies and businesses around the globe now hire virtual assistants for a variety of functions. While you don’t have to leave your home, you can work for a specific period in your free time every day. The job of a virtual assistant is to offer administrative support services to businesses or entrepreneurs. This can include managing emails, scheduling appointments, and handling customer inquiries.
It is one of the most lucrative side business ideas as it offers flexibility in working hours, the ability to work from home, and a growing demand for virtual assistants.
You can use your writing skills to make some money on the side. Several talented part-time copywriters work as a freelancer. You can take up assignments from UpWork or Fiverr at any time you want. Generally, the content will vary from PRs to specialized content to media listings.
22. Social Media Manager
Are you good at social media? Well if you are, use these skills to manage a company’s social media accounts and make money with them. You can use your social media expertise to help local businesses and small online businesses scale up their online business and conversions.
23. Yoga Instructor
After the gym, currently, yoga is currently the most sought-after option among health enthusiasts. You can get a short course to kick-start your yoga classes. You can offer a class in batches or even private lessons from your home on weekends or free time.
24. Dance Instructor
Are you a dancer? If yes, don’t let your weekends waste. You can make some good money with your skills. Start to offer dance classes in your free time on weekends or even online. Dance classes for adults or children can be a highly profitable business.
25. Affiliate Marketing
Start a website or blog or use social media profiles to earn money from affiliate marketing. You need to promote products and earn a commission for every sale made through your unique affiliate link. It requires minimal upfront investment, and you can integrate it into your online presence.
26. Music Instructor
Music lessons or teaching to play a musical instrument can be a highly profitable side business. While you don’t need to invest in anything, you can use your skills to make money by teaching your students. If you know how to play an instrument or even sing, start to offer your music lessons from home or rented space, or online.
27. Professional Organizer
You can use your organizational skills to help people organize their stuff. Start to offer professional services on how to organize. Help your clients get organized by offering them customized data. This will primarily involve managing their homes or offices and systems for storing and utilizing all items.
28. Home Inspector
With some knowledge of homes and local codes, you can start to work as a part-time home inspector. You can offer your services as an inspector to help people buy and sell homes. Your clients will contact you if they are buying and/or selling their homes.
Playing music can be a fulfilling job. While you get to use your skills, you at the same time can make money out of it. If you know how to mix music, you can start to work as a part-time Disc Jockey. You will have to offer services as a DJ at bars, restaurants, parties, or special events.
30. Business Consultant
If you are a business professional, use it to help people start their own. While many startups fail to work due to improper planning, use your expertise to let others start a new business. Your business knowledge will help others to grow or start their own business.
Babysitting can be a profitable side business. Childcare services are one of the highest-paid services. You can start to offer child daycare services out of your home. Start with babysitting, and you can scale up accordingly.
If you have some creative skills, you can put that to use to design landscapes in your part-time. Use your skills to mow lawns, pull weeds or do other landscaping work and charge clients accordingly.
33. App Developer
A highly paid profession, app developers are currently in huge demand. You can also learn to make apps online in a short course. Small companies and businesses look for developers online. You can earn some extra by making applications for businesses or helping them make their apps better.
34. Resume Writer
Some individuals often fail to crack an interview due to poor resumes. While they have some great skills, they fail to express them. You can help these candidates write strong resumes and charge them a fee. You can offer your services online to offer professional-looking resumes and cover letters for interested job seekers.
35. Voice Actor
An interesting profession, the job demands creative skills. You can work as a part-time voice actor to offer services to companies that often hire such actors for commercials, videos, or other audio content. If you have a commanding voice, put it to use to make some money.
36. Become an Investor
A critical job, yet a great option for salaried professionals. The money you make, put aside some of it. Start with investor journals, business news, and investment options. Invest in mutual funds, buy some stock and make some extra income by investing in different businesses.
37. Pet Sitting
A great job for animal lovers, you can start to pet sit for people who go on trips or are out. You can offer pet sitting services on weekends with different services.
38. Slideshow Presentation Consultant
Some individuals and businesses often need PowerPoint services. They require outside consulting to make better presentations. You can outsource your visual layout skills to help your clients make better presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches, and lectures.
39. Wedding Planner
You can be a part-time wedding planner if you enjoy managing events. Use your skills for different wedding arrangements. Start your wedding planning services in your locality, and soon you can scale up with the growing demand.
40. E-commerce Business
A great option to make money on the side, starting an e-commerce business offers you the ease to work part-time. Select your products, list them and start selling online via platforms like Amazon or eBay. Presently e-commerce business is one of the most popular side business ideas as it does not require stocking inventories and can be done from anywhere with low money.
41. Interior Decorator
Do you feel fascinated by interiors and in-house designs? Use your skills to help people design their interiors. You don’t need to be a professional. Use your creative skills in designing interiors to help people decorate their homes in exchange for a small fee.
42. Teach A Language
If you know a second language, why not use it to make some money? There will be people who want to learn the language you know. If you’re well-versed in it, you can teach it to others. This can be English French or Portuguese.
43. Scrapbook Making
There is a good demand for beautiful scrapbooks. While they never create them on their own, you can help them have their scrapbooks. Listen to their ideas and materials and assemble a scrapbook for them.
44. Email Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the easiest and most profitable forms of online marketing. While attracting subscribers is not easy, you have to create a personal connection to bring business. You can use your skills to help small businesses have successful email marketing campaigns.
45. Online Dating Consultant
Some people have a difficult time dating. They can’t find the right person and are not able to handle the online component of it. You can help others find the right match by offering online consultations.
46. Data Analysis
Some businesses and companies need individuals online good at data analysis. If you are good with numbers, start as a data freelancer. You will offer services to help companies make analytical decisions.
47. WordPress Website Consultant
There are individuals and small businesses who want to have a successful website. While most of them do not know WordPress, you can help them make a web presence using a WordPress-hosted website. It is now among the most sought-after side business ideas for people having technical knowledge of WordPress.
48. Online News Correspondent
Online journalism doesn’t require a degree. If you can cover a story differently, start to work as an online reporter. Several news websites now require freelance reporters who can write pieces directly from home.
49. Weekend Pop-Up Shop
Starting a retail shop can be very costly. You can start a weekend pop-up shop to keep the operational costs down. This will help you to limit your time investment while you keep working.
50. Instagram Marketer
Do you have a sizeable Instagram follower base? You could soon be approached by brands and relevant businesses for marketing. You can help them sell products or services for a commission or sponsorships.
Learn More: How to Become a Successful Instagram Influencer
Having a side business could be incredibly rewarding and profitable at the same time. Start something on your own today to earn some quality passive income! We hope this list of side business ideas will inspire you to start your venture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best side business ideas for ladies?
Starting a side business can be an empowering and flexible way for women to explore their entrepreneurial spirit. Here are the best side business ideas tailored for ladies:
- Freelance Writing Services
- Online Handmade Crafts Shop
- Virtual Assistance
- Blogging or Vlogging
- Online Tutoring or Coaching
What are the best business ideas for students?
As a student, balancing academics and work can be challenging. However, several side business ideas offer flexibility and can be managed alongside your studies. Here are the top side business ideas for students:
- Freelance Writing or Content Creation
- Tutoring or Academic Coaching
- Social Media Management
- Graphic Design Services:
- Affiliate Marketing
Can I start a side business while working a full-time job?
Yes, many side businesses are designed to be flexible and can be managed alongside a full-time job. Ensure there’s no conflict of interest with your employer.
How much time should I dedicate to my side business?
The time commitment varies. It is advisable to start small and gradually increase your commitment as your side business grows.
Do I need a separate bank account for my side business?
No, it is not mandatory. However, having a separate account can simplify financial management and make it easier to track business-related transactions.
How do I market my side business on a budget?
You are advised to explore free or low-cost marketing channels like social media, networking, and word of mouth. Focus on building an online presence.
What side businesses require specific skills or qualifications?
Certain businesses like freelance writing, graphic design, or tutoring may benefit from specific skills, but many side businesses can be started with minimal qualifications.
Can I turn my side business into a full-time venture?
Yes, many successful businesses started as side ventures. Evaluate the potential and market demand before making the transition.
How do I handle taxes for a side business?
Keep detailed records of income and expenses, consider consulting with a tax professional, and be aware of tax deductions available for small businesses.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.