14 Stellar Ideas for a Side Business

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If your main job is not as satisfying as you would like but you need to stick to it for the money or if the job is not paying you enough and you would like to find an additional source of income, a side business is one of the best forms of expression you can explore. Sure, there can be several starting troubles and hurdles but if you have a good idea and something you believe in, you can realize it and bring it to fruition. If you are looking for inspiration, the following are 14 stellar side business ideas you can explore:

Blogging

If you have something to say, now is a good time! Even if you have a full-time job, maintaining a blog on the side should not be as challenging if you are determined to put your point forward. Of course, it requires some discipline and a clear vision but if you set your mind to it, a blog can become a very lucrative side business.

But it is, however, important that you determine your niche and know what your target audience is. Many people start writing blogs without any achievable target in mind. If you are serious about your blog as a side business, then you also need to think of a niche that you will be good at and feel passionately about. For example, if cinema is something you are interested in, find a niche within that genre and explore a target audience accordingly. You can review films, post archival photographs from old films and even hold contests once you have a bit of a fan following. You can also try affiliate marketing to get the cash flowing in faster. Here’s a handy guide to writing a good blog post.

Web Design

Web designing, of course, requires some expertise. If you have the basics in place, it should not be very hard for you to pick up the skills through online courses and some practice. If you already have the expertise, more people than you realize are looking to hire part-time web designers. Especially in this time of the digital revolution, everything is moving into the online sphere and there is a lot of money to be made for someone with your skills.

This can be a very lucrative side business as more and more traditional companies are looking to carve a space for themselves online. In such an economy, there is an increasing need for web designers. You can also make a fair amount of money if you are a gifted web designer. If not, you can spend your free time honing your skills. The web designing job opportunities are here to stay for a while!

 

Graphic Design

Similar to web designing, graphic designers also have great scope for learning and earning money in this economy. The digital world and those working in it are constantly looking for talented graphic designers. Good graphics are, after all, the best way to attract audience attention online. Especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which are visual and picture-heavy, graphics play a huge role in attracting audiences.

Most digital platforms require the support of good graphic artists to make a mark online. Even if you have a full-time job, you can invest a few hours after work or on the weekends to do a few graphics here and there for a company or individual that is willing to pay you good money. The good thing about graphic designing is that the more work you take on, the greater the chance that your network will expand and your skills will improve too! You can get a taste of the market if you do some professional assignments and can figure out how to sell your skills better.

Teach an Online Course

If you have any skills you have to offer, perhaps even related to your main, daytime job, you can always convert that into an online course. Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare will allow you to upload courses which students and others who are interested can purchase. You can even convert your course into an eBook and sell it along with your course. Udemy instructor Miguel Hernandez, in fact, claims that he has been able to earn $90,000/year just from selling his knowledge online. He explains his process and reveals his secret in a course you can take on Udemy (How to Create an Awesome Online Course).

You can also try your luck with Teachable, which may be a more accessible platform for those venturing into online teaching for the first time.

Start a Podcast

This is another great outlet for your opinions, plus if you manage to garner a good following you can start making money with a podcast before you know it. As with a blog, it is important for you to figure out a niche and talk about something that you feel confident about. You do not need to be an authority on something but you should at least have a basic understanding so you can touch upon the right points to start a larger conversation.

For example, if your podcast is about books, naturally you are not expected to read all the books in the world. But you should at least be an active bibliophile and have valid opinions on various kinds of books. You can also invite your friends or local authors to the podcast and pick up a specific book to discuss. It may require a few episodes for you to get into your stride and figure out what your audience wants from you. Be receptive and open to suggestions — that is a sure shot way for you to increase your following. Once you have a fair few listeners, start approaching sponsors. This can be a lucrative and also a creatively satisfying side business. Who knows, if your podcast takes off you can even make it your ‘main’ business.

Amazon Reselling

Amazon reselling can be a lucrative side business, provided you are smart about it. You can register to become a reseller with Amazon and put objects up for sale on the platform. These can be second-hand books lying around in your house, old furniture or even new objects that you have no need for and would like to put back on the market.

The smarter Amazon resellers also frequently hit garage sales, thrift shops and department sales. You are bound to find something of value at a low price at one of these sales. You can then sell them online at an elevated price. After all, how will you make a profit if you do not buy the product at a low price? Here’s a simple guide to buying low and selling high.

Virtual Assistant

If you have it in you to keep your life organized (if you have the capacity to start a side business while keeping a full-time job, surely organization is one of your strong suits), becoming a virtual assistant might be a good option for you. As a virtual assistant, you do not need to report to an office or make coffee runs for your employer. Your job will be to organize their life and schedule virtually. Each individual virtual assistant may have a separate set of duties depending on the requirement of their employers. Generally speaking, you may have to answer emails, schedule appointments, keep track of those appointments, take calls, etc.

It can be a convenient and easy way to make some more money and kickstart your side business. Besides, it is a great way to hobnob with important people and build your professional network. This will help you expand your business and get your name out there for others who may require virtual assistance. The best thing is that you can work from anywhere in the world!

Remote Tutor

This is similar to teaching a course online, but instead of simply making and uploading your course material, you may have to be present in real-time and take questions. It is like teaching a class at school or at university, but virtually. The most common opportunity you can avail is perhaps to become a remote English tutor. Several English language speakers have found opportunities as tutors abroad.

It is helpful to get a full English as a Second Language (ESL) accreditation. If you are a native English speaker, there are people who are willing to pay up to $25/hr for online English tuitions. You can check for such opportunities on platforms like Indeed, Learn4Good, etc. If you do land such a job, be sure to create an appropriate background for your classes. Even if you are taking these classes from the comfort of your own home, try to hang a sheet of a neutral color in the background so the students are not distracted by the titles on your bookshelf or by the color of your curtain.

House Sitter

This may be a more lucrative side business if you can work remotely on your main job. Working remotely allows you to work out of anywhere, as long as you meet your targets and deadlines. As a home sitter, you can crash on people’s couches and travel the world, rent free! It may sound like an odd profession, but it can really develop into a great and enjoyable experience if you create a good impression and portfolio.

This is a service which families that are looking to travel or who live elsewhere for months in a year. Often, they may feel under-confident to leave their homes uncared for and without vigilance. As a housesitter, you need to assure them that their homes will be in safe hands. Think of it as babysitting, but replace the baby with a house instead. There are a few platforms you can find house sitting opportunities. This is a handy guide to looking for house sitting opportunities and why never paying for accommodation could be the best things for your travel bug.

 

Freelance Proofreader/Editor

This is actually a profession that has been around forever and people are constantly looking for freelance proofreaders and editors. Some might think that since the publishing industry has taken a hit with the advent of eBooks, these jobs will also start to disappear slowly. But even if paperbacks and hard copies are reducing (though not as a drastically as one would believe), books are still being written and content is still being produced – even if the work is fast moving to the digital space. So there are enough and more opportunities for proofreaders and editors available.

You can post your services on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork or advertise it through word of mouth. Depending on the employer, you may have to proofread and edit a few pages at a time and turn them in. If you strike a working relationship, you may have to go back and forth with corrections and revisions.

Uber or Lyft Driver

Becoming an Uber or Lyft driver is actually quite simple if you meet the criteria set by the ride-sharing services. You may often see young people, male and female, driving Ubers and Lyfts for some extra money. It is quite common for college students to start lending their driving services to the ride-sharing company for an extra buck.

You can decide your hours and set your targets and perhaps choose to drive only on the weekends or at night once you get free from your daytime job. If you have your own car, that is an added bonus. This is an easy way to make some extra money and can become a lucrative side business. These ride-sharing services are booming currently and are available in several parts of the world so jump onto that bandwagon already!

Catering

If you have a knack for cooking, by all means, make it a side business. You can start small by letting friends know that you can cater their parties if you are given advance notice. Perhaps you can do this only on the weekends and set a menu so people can place their orders in advance. Starting a catering business as a side hustle may be restrictive as you probably cannot take a very big order without eating into your daytime job. You also, perhaps, would need to figure out a way to deliver the food or negotiate with the customer to pick up the food themselves.

The logistics, however, are secondary. The most important thing is that your cooking needs to be exemplary. Every time somebody eats at your house they should speak about your cooking for days, perhaps even click photos and post it online immediately. Your friends and family, naturally, may end up being your first few customers but through them, you can tap into a larger network through word of mouth and recommendations. If your business takes off, you can even hire some help to deliver the food and also to assist you in packing all the orders.

Freelance Writer

As a freelance writer, you can work in a variety of domains. You can contribute as a journalist to several different media organizations, you can send in essays to magazines, short stories, poetry or any other kind of writing. You can also lend your services to organizations as a content writer.

The easiest and most efficient way to go about this will perhaps be to build a website where you can display your work and where future employers or those seeking your services can get acquainted with what you do best. You can be a feature writer, a blog writer or simply do freelance copywriting for social media content and posts. There is a lot of scope for you to explore this territory as a writer.

 

Tour Guide

Weekends are when people in the workforce look to go out in the city and let loose. If you know your city or locality well, you can freelance as a tour guide on the weekends. Start a Facebook page or an event, inviting people for a walk around a certain locality in the city you know well. For example, if there is a historic part of the city that is popular among tourists, you can host a walk for about 20-25 people and walk them through those parts, while providing them with interesting information and anecdotes.

Final Thoughts

If you have the will and motivation to start a side business, no idea is a bad idea. Just set aside the time to start and run your business. The first few months can be hard and exhausting but gradually, it should become a smoother ride. Once you get into your stride and can afford to hire someone on your payroll, you can even enlist some help. Of course, this will not happen overnight but it would be good to have all the support you can get in the meantime, whether it is from a partner, a friend or family. So if you have even the germ of an idea, let it grow into something lucrative and satisfying.

 

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