Do you want to be your own boss? Strike out on your own? Or just work on your own terms to achieve the work-life balance that you need? Starting your own business, or becoming self-employed could be the answer. There are lots of ready-made business opportunities out there which don’t need a huge investment – from direct selling using your own network of contacts through to customer service roles where you act as a self-employed agent.
See if there are any ideas below that fit you well. If you find an idea you like, do a bit of research or seek out a guide on how to get started in that area.
Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them.
Rent out a room in your home
Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.
Have a meticulous eye for detail and love to get things gleaming clean? Auto detailing is probably a perfect side business for you. In essence, your job is to make cars sparkle inside and out – and many people are quite happy to pay well for this service.
Got lots of evenings free? Like kids? Babysitting may be a great side business for you. Keep an eye on multiple children on Friday and Saturday nights and you can earn some easy cash over time.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
Buying and reselling on eBay
Thanks to technology, there are more opportunities than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. Plenty of people buy local and in-demand products at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit
Cake and cupcake baking and decorating
Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.
Cleaning services for businesses
Many businesses and civic institutions need individuals who can clean their offices and common areas outside of normal business hours. If you’re willing to work some nights and weekends, you can build a cleaning side business and get in shape all in one fell swoop.
Social media expert
Almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home? To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Upwork.com for opportunities.
Gourmet cookie making
If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potentials. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.
This is a perfect side business for people who love antiquing. Take worn-out antique home with you, invest the time and care needed to transform those old items into something amazing, then resell them at a profit.