Starting a business is no easy feat, but keeping it part time is a great way to ease into entrepreneurship. Running a part-time business can help you earn extra money on the side or even give you the means to make the transition into a completely new career. Plus, starting a part-time business can be less expensive and a lot easier than you realize. If you’re passionate about your business idea and willing to do the necessary research (including obtaining any necessary certifications), you can make your entrepreneurship dreams a reality. Here are 10 business ideas perfect for aspiring part-time entrepreneurs.
No festival or county fair would be complete without a caricature artist to draw fun, unique souvenirs for visitors to take home. With online tutorials like Learn-To-Draw.com, you can learn caricature techniques and begin building a portfolio to display for potential customers. Then, check your town or county’s website for local events that have booths available to rent. Charge by the portrait at these types of events. (Depending on how quickly you can draw, the earning potential is huge.) And once you earn a reputation, you can offer a flat rate to be hired at school functions, weddings or children’s birthday parties.
Beauty school isn’t a prerequisite for launching a successful hair or makeup business. For those who can create masterpieces with a teasing comb and some hairspray, you only need a good reputation and client trust. Since beauty professionals often build their business through client referrals, Businessweek recommends working on friends and family for free or at a discounted rate at first. Once you have a solid customer base, you can offer competitive rates for updos and makeup for weddings, proms and other special events.
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. Patience and a great personality are critical.
Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on vacation or a weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. If you can’t commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog-walking, waste-cleanup or pet-grooming business.
While the term “disc jockey” might be a little outdated in the age of streaming music, there’s no question that event entertainment is still in high demand. With your music collection, mixing software and your laptop, you can get people out on the dance floor at weddings and birthday parties, or simply provide background music at more casual events. DJ equipment is a big investment, but plenty of companies offer daily rentals of speakers, subwoofers and other accessories that you can use until you can save up enough to buy your own.
For working parents with long hours, cleaning the house can quickly fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Offer your weekends and evenings to these families, for everything from light housework, like vacuuming and dusting, to heavy-duty chores, like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Charge an hourly rate, or create your own service packages for a flat fee. Remember that your clients will be giving you access to their entire homes, so make sure you build up a trustworthy reputation with people you know before advertising to strangers.
Do you have a knack for knitting, jewelry making or creating other small crafts? If you can produce a large quantity of items in a short amount of time, consider selling your goods to the public. Online storefronts like Etsy are a safe place to start, since you can display photos of sample products and fill orders for them as they come in. However, if you have a large amount of inventory stored up, consider selling your work at a local craft fair or other community event.
For the musically gifted, offering lessons to others who want to learn how to play an instrument can be a great source of extra income. Unless you’re teaching piano, students can bring their own instruments to your home for hourlong lessons. Stock up on sheet music or songbooks in varying genres, and aimed at various skill levels, so you can offer a wide selection for your potential clients. Voice lessons can also bring in a lot of money if you market yourself to local high school and community theater groups.
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