Here are my picks for the best business ideas you can start right now, while you’re still working full-time.
1. SAT Tutor
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers on the side? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework.
2. Google Paid Ad Specialist
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income on the side is to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows.
3. Presentation Design Consultant.
Yes, even the lowly PowerPoint requires outside consulting every now and then. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches, and lectures. Adam Noar from Presentation Panda is living proof that you can turn your passion for slideshow presentation design into a legit side business.
4. Amazon Reselling.
Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell. If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed guide to Amazon Clearance Arbitrage on SideHustleNation featuring an interview from Travis Scott of StuffParentsLike.com.
5. Local Business Consulting.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet.
6. Phone Case Business.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. With turnkey solutions like Case Escape readily available, you can now get ready to go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start your own phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. I know one seller who clears around $60,000/yr through Etsy alone.
7. Affiliate Sales and Marketing.
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating, is through affiliate marketing. Clickbank, Skimlinks, and Rakuten are all great affiliate marketing tools and networks that can help you make money from the content you already produce. Check out this extensive list by Justine Grey, covering the 59 Best Affiliate Programs for Business Bloggers.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram. If you have hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post or more. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships.
9. Online Coaching.
If you have something you’re skilled at and very passionate about, you can turn that winning combination into offering your services with one-on-one online coaching. Regina Anaejionu will give you a step-by-step plan for putting your skills and experience to work by developing an online coaching business. Check out her content for a jump start on this career.
While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and websites like Canva andVisme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can get paid to create or alter images.
11. Landing Page Specialist.
If you have a way with words and know how to make the keyword-friendly, beautifully designed, SEO-optimized landing pages, why not charge other companies for your services? Even a short landing page is worth a couple hundred bucks in most cases. Just check out what Freelance Copywriter Mike is up to for some inspiration.
12. Interior Design Consultant.
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist.
It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastic way to live in exotic locales around the world without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Here’s a list of four great websites from the legendary Nomadic Matt, to start your housesitting search.
No, babysitting isn’t just for teenagers and college students. Quite on the contrary, if you call yourself an Au Pair instead, you can make some pretty good side money working nights and weekends.
15. Property Manager.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on the side with relatively little work on your part. From collecting rental checks, to managing repairs and improvements, or simply being on call for emergencies, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors.