80 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today
Read time: About 17 minutes!
Read this first!
Going through this list is good because it gives you ideas of where to start, but you know what’s even better? Diving in today (or this week) and actually implementing something you learn from this list.
Challenge: I dare you to start something you learn from this list 7 days from reading this. After you do so, drop me a line and I will send you a GIFT (yes, for free) to congratulate you on taking action! For real, try me 🙂
You are ready to start making that extra cash on the side but you’re stuck on where to start. We’ll, don’t worry, I got you covered. There’s a list of 80 side hustles you can start today, look through it and see if you there’s anything that sparks your interest.
Before you get started, a few things to note. When creating this list, I had 3 criteria that I wanted to follow closely.
The first criteria being that the side businesses were actually feasible and made logical sense. While doing some researching on this topic, I found a lot of side businesses that were just ridiculous and in my mind weren’t doable for most people.
The second criteria I followed was to insure that the side businesses were low cost. A business that costs $100,000 to open, is not low cost in my mind and is not a ‘side hustle’. Side hustles have to be low enough in start-up costs so that almost anyone can pursue them. (…at least in my mind)
The third criteria I used was that the businesses has to be ‘home based’. By my own definition a side business is a business you can operate out of your home or vehicle and doesn’t require another ‘brick and mortar’ location to run.
So what did I find? Well, I was surprised to find that there as many side business ideas as the mind can create, but here is just a few… (Well, 80 to be exact…)
1. Affiliate Marketing. Refer website visitors to buy products online and earn a small commission on each sale. Please do me a favor and don’t buy into anyone’s sleazy affiliate marketing “program” or “system.” There are unfortunately a lot of slimy salespeople out there making their living taking advantage of newbies. So be very careful!
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out Warrior Forums Affiliate Program Database. I have a good number of friends who make some good money with Affiliate Marketing and I’m looking to get into it myself.
2. Airbnb. If you have extra room in your house, you can earn money renting it out to visitors on Airbnb.com. Pretty cool way to make money and meet interesting people from around the world at the same time.
3. Alterations. Handy with a sewing machine? I believe the market for clothing alteration is ripe for disruption because of a lack of transparency in pricing. When I was actively involved in my clothing lines, I worked with a couple different places but they all had dramatically different rates. If you can figure out a way to create a pricelist and publicize it, I’m pretty sure you will make it easy for your customers to work with you.
Free marketing tip: Post flyers at the gym or other places where people may have lost a lot of weight and need their clothes altered.
4. App Development. The mobile app market is hot, but one developer likened it to the gold rush — where the ones who made the most money were the ones selling the gear and the shovels. Similarly, an app developer gets paid whether or not the app goes on to become a hit.
To learn more about app development and some useful tips and strategies, check out some online learning platforms like Tree House, uDemy, and Lynda.com. To encourage new developers, Apple has their own in-depth tutorial you can access for free so does Android.
5. Baking. Do people love your desserts? Maybe you could provide cake, cookies, or cupcakes to some corporate event in town.
6. Being a TaskRabbit. Task Rabbit is an on-demand errand-running service that enlists regular people to help out. You can earn money in your spare time completing real-world tasks on their unique platform.
7. Blogging. Blogging is difficult to monetize but can be a fun outlet to practice your writing or build an audience around a particular idea. The other huge advantage of blogging is that it helps you build your brand. So regardless of whether you take it on as a side hustle or not, I highly encourage you to run you own blog that’s all about you and what you do. It will be a great centralized place for your audience to connect with you directly.
8. Bookkeeping / Accounting / Tax Preparation Service. Help other businesses with their accounting and finances. This can be a great option for people with an accounting background from school or from their day job.
9. Building Niche Websites. Building niche sites is a popular side hustle because after some initial research and time investment they can be a relatively hands-off income source. I’m an expert in this field but I’m happy to welcome any questions regarding this subject.
10. Car Wash and Detailing. A mobile detailing service would be a super-low cost start-up and you could get clients in bunches at office parks, shopping malls, schools, sporting events, and other places where cars like to gather.
11. Caregiving. This business continues to grow as the population ages. Ok, I have a confession to make, this is what got me through college. I worked at 4 different “Group Homes” and had a couple in-home clients. It paid well- well, decent, and I got to truly help someone in need. Such an amazing side hustle.
12. Carpet Cleaning. Carpet cleaning would be a relatively simple and low cost business to start. You could get clients on an annual or semi-annual recurring schedule like the dentist.
13. Catering. If you have a passion for cooking, a catering business has a lower barrier to entry and time commitment than say, opening a restaurant.
14. Child Care. Is it just me, or does “babysitting” sound amateur compared to “‘child care”?
15. Cleaning Service. It may not be glamorous, but it’s something nearly every business spends money on and usually gets done in the after-work hours.
16. Computer Repair Service. There are more computers in this country (including tablets and smartphones) than there are people. The repair market is very fragmented which means there is opportunity for solo-operators to break in.
17. Computer Tutoring. Some of the computer skills we take for granted are still lacking for portions of the population. If you can find them and sell them on the necessity of technical skills for their careers, there might be a business opportunity here.
18. Consulting / Coaching. Consulting is an ambiguously broad field, but there are consultants for practically every area of expertise. What are you a relative expert in that others might pay for your advice? This is definitely an area we’ll explore in more detail later.
19. Cover Letter and Resume Service. Especially if you have experience in HR, there is a massive opportunity to help job seekers with their resumes and cover letters. Since the payoff of landing a job is so high, it can be worthwhile for applicants to seek some professional assistance on their documents.
It would be interesting to see this sold on a pay-for-performance model, where you only get paid if the applicant gets the interview.
20. Craigslist Arbitrage. Craigslist and other markets are still filled with inefficiencies that a trained eye can exploit for profit. There are some great stories of regular people doing just this. For instance, Ryan Finlay of ReCraigslist.com, makes a full-time living buying and selling on Craigslist.
21. Customer Service. Some companies are now employing part-time customer service representatives to work from home and handle incoming phone or live chat service requests. You can also explore such opportunities on oDesk and Elance.
22. Designated Driver Service. If you’re free nights and weekends, you can earn extra cash driving your fellow citizens around. Sign up with Lyft or another driving service to get started. It takes a lot of patience (believe me) being a teetotaler I’ve been a DD for a long, long time. My friends can attest to this 🙂
23. Dog Walking. Yes, some people are too busy to walk their own dogs. If you don’t believe me, ask one of my favorite clients Monika, she runs the one of the largest Pet Sitting companies in Australia.
24. Doula Service. Doulas can earn $500-$1000 per birth, if you’re into that sort of thing.
25. Dropshipping. Dropshippers set up their own storefront and process sales, but never touch the actual product. Instead, the items are shipped directly to the customer from the manufacturer or wholesaler. I’ve worked in a company that made millions (yes, crazy right?) as a dropshipper. We never actually had any stocked products, except a few very popular items. It was mind-blowing!
26. Estate Sale Service. Estate sales are often managed by a third-party company, who takes a percentage of the proceeds in exchange for handling the event.
27. Event DJ-ing. I feel like DJ-ing is something of a lost art in the era of pre-made iTunes playlists, but there are still plenty of events that have a live DJ. One of my best friends Lloyd just started this side hustle. Very proud of him. Show him some love– he goes by DJ Lucky Lloyd!
29. Furniture Making. If you’re skilled in carpentry, maybe people would like to buy your hand-crafted furniture. OK, this one reminds me of Ron Swanson.
30. Ghostwriting. With millions of websites all competing for attention, writing is a service that’s constantly in demand. Someone’s got to create all that content, right?
31. Gigwalking. Gigwalk is a free smartphone app that pays you to complete small tasks in your neighborhood, like photographing the inside of a store.
32. Graphic Design Service. Quality graphic design is always in-demand, and never before have there been so many outlets on which to sell your skills, believe me, I’ve been doing this for a while now. The most popular design-focused site is 99designs, but you can check out Crowdspring, Witmart, or any of the freelance marketplaces as well.
33. Handyman Service. This is certainly not a good option for me, but I’m positive someone else with the right skills can make it work.
34. Home Inspection Service. Certification is required, but this is a viable side hustle because the inspections can be scheduled at your convenience and only take a few hours.
35. Housesitting. I’m more intrigued in housesitting as a way to get free accommodations while traveling, but I guess it can be a way to supplement your income at home as well.
36. Human Billboard. If you’re not afraid of embarrassing yourself on a street corner, there are always businesses looking to hire sign-spinners or people in costume to attract attention.
37. Hyper-Local Newspaper. Could you start a small newspaper for your neighborhood? Could you sell advertisements?
38. Interior Decorating. With an eye for design, interior decorating could be a fun part-time business.
39. Ironing / Mobile Laundry Service. Holy crap do I hate ironing! I’m certain a decent chunk of the population is with me on this one and would be willing to pay to make that problem go away.
40. Junk Hauling Service. This is an especially feasible side hustle business if you already have access to a large truck or van. Bonus points if you can re-sell some of the junk!
41. Medical Transcription Service. Medical transcription, which involved typing out doctors’ recorded voice notes, is often a part-time work-from-home position.
42. MLM Sales. MLM (multi-level marketing) programs are frequently derided as pyramid schemes but some people manage to do quite well with them, often starting out part-time. Amway is probably the most well-known.
43. Mobile Oil Change Service. Save people time by bringing the shop and supplies to them.
44. Modeling. Stock photographers are sometimes in need of subjects for their work. Strike a pose!
45. Movie / TV Extra. Your odds are better if you’re in LA or New York, but there can always be “on location” shoots nearby. Bonus points if you can get your Screen Actors Guild credentials!
46. Moving Service. Moving is never fun, but can be a good way to earn some extra cash on the weekend if you’re strong and don’t mind carrying other people’s stuff.
47. Mystery Shopping. Companies will pay you to verify their in-store or on-the-phone experience, or to spy on their competition. It’s possible to make over $10,000 a year being a mystery shopper.
48. Notary Public Service. Notary certification is granted by the state and the cost is generally less than $100. Once you’re certified, you can charge your own fee to notarize documents.
49. Online Surveys. This industry is rife with scams, so my only advice would be not to pay anything up front to join any company promising paid survey riches. CashCrate appears to be a legitimate operator, and you may find some opportunities on Mechanical Turk.
50. Party Planning / Wedding Coordinator Service. Put your organization skills to good use. My good friend Beatrice of Mirror Ink Productions does this, I’m sure she will be open to offering you some advice on this hustle.
51. Personal Chef Service. Could you picture yourself making meals in someone else’s kitchen? This could be a good way to break into the food services industry without the time commitment and overhead of starting your own restaurant. I also have a good colleague Chef Ron Hillger here in Vegas who does this. So if you are interested in going into this, talk to him.
52. Personal Training. People are always looking to get in shape and if you have a passion for fitness, this could be the perfect side hustle.
53. Pet Grooming. Just like their owners, pets require haircuts too. A mobile pet grooming service can be a low-cost part-time business.
54. Pet Sitting. When homeowners travel, it opens up an opportunity for pet sitting services to come by and take care of their animals. Talk to Monika of Advanced Pet Sitting, she can give you some pointers.
55. Photography Service. Professional cameras today as quite affordable. You can easily turn your photography hobby into an income stream.
56. Pool Cleaning Service. If you live in a warm climate with a lot of pools, this could be a fun and interesting side hustle to enjoy the summer outdoors.
57. Proofreading. Do you like to read? If you have an eye for detail you can set up shop on Elance as a proofreader and bid on jobs large and small.
58. Rec Sports Officiating. Recreational sports leagues are often in need of referees and umpires, and this can be a fun way to spend your evenings and earn a little extra cash.
59. Renting Out Your Car. In select markets, you can rent out your car on an hourly basis to earn extra cash through a company called GetAround. According to their site, the average car sits idle 22 hours a day, so their service is a unique opportunity to capitalize on those idle hours. The company handles all the insurance.
60. Selling on Amazon. Have you always wanted to write a book? Well now you can, and you can get it published for free on the world’s #1 bookstore! I’ve been experimenting with publishing on the Kindle platform myself, and have a couple titles out so far.
61. Selling on eBay. eBay can be a tough, low-margin, competitive environment, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities left to earn extra cash on the world’s largest marketplace.
62. Selling on Etsy. Etsy is the world’s largest marketplace for unique hand-crafted goods. What can you make?
63. Selling on Fiverr. Fiverr is one of the greatest sites in the world. The basic premise is “what would you do for $5?” You’ll find everything from hilariously weird and useless gags to legitimate and genuinely helpful micro-business tasks.
64. Sperm Donor. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a business, but it’s probably more fun than donating blood.
65. Sports Coaching. School teams are sometimes in need of coaching help and this can be a fun and active side hustle.
66. T-Shirt Printing Service. Create silk-screened t-shirts for events and organizations. Bonus points for creating the designs yourself.
67. Teaching Music. With a love for music, teaching, and working with kids, you could start a part-time music teaching business.
68. Teaching on Udemy. Udemy is an impressive online education platform where students can connect with teachers from all around the world in any subject. You can create your own course around a topic you’re an expert in and set your own tuition rate.
69. Teaching Yoga. A certain level of expertise and certification may be required, but becoming a yoga instructor could be a fun and healthy part-time business.
70. Tour Guide Service. Do you want to show off your city to visitors? You can create you own unique tour experience with the help of websites like Vayable.com, ToursByLocals.com, andLocalGuiding.com.
71. Translation / Interpretation Service. A translation service could be an excellent way to put your bilingual skills to good use. There are always translation jobs on Elance, as a place to start.
72. Travel Agent Service. Are you a seasoned traveler? Do you always know where to get the best deals and the best experiences? It might be surprising that despite widespread access to travel information there is still a healthy demand both for insider travel knowledge and the hands-off experience of letting an expert handle the booking.
Plus, you can put your travel-hacking skills to the test and earn money at the same time with services like FlightFox.
73. Tutoring. Put that education to use by helping students learn in a comfortable one-on-one setting.
74. Vehicle Advertising. According to Adz in Motion, you can earn up to $500 a month by putting an advertising “wrap” on your car.
75. Virtual Assistant Service. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from their home office. If that sounds like a fun side hustle you can set up shop on your own or jump on board with an established VA company like Zirtual or Fancy Hands.
76. Web Design Service. There are no shortage of crappy looking websites out there. Pitch the benefits of good design and help them out. I’ve done this professionally for over 3 years now and I will be teaching people how to do it. You can join the rest of us on the Brandstorm Network.
77. Window Cleaning Service. Window cleaning can be a nice little weekend side hustle, and requires minimal startup capital; you may already have a ladder, a bucket, and a squeegee.
78. Working on Mechanical Turk. Mechanical Turk is a service provided by Amazon to help companies complete micro-jobs that sometimes only pay pennies for each one. The good news is they are relatively simple and fast to finish so you may be able to earn a modest side hustle income in your spare time from home. I’m not sure the hourly wage will be anything amazing here but I wanted to include it as an option in case you wanted to check it out.
79. Yard Work Service. Much like the cleaning service above, it’s not the most glamorous side hustle in the world but the fact is nearly every yard in the country requires some sort of maintenance. That means there’s a big business opportunity.
80. Reader’s Choice! Help me out by adding your part-time business idea in the comments below!
Note to Readers
What business ideas do you use to make a little side income? I know there are only 80 ideas here, but I’m certain every one of them can make you that side income you need to pay off debt, save for retirement, or take that yearly vacation you’ve always wanted.
Go ahead, get started today!
Readers, what side business did I miss? Do you run a side business that makes additional income for you and your family? Share it below…
CREDIT: Thanks to Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation for allowing me to share this list with you guys. He has some great podcast that will definitely spark your inspiration. Show him some love!