But if you get the green light to do it, starting a catering service is a relatively low-overhead way to create a new business. It’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy cooking, it could turn into a lucrative and fulfilling career. To get started with minimal investment, you could first cook in your customers’ homes and use their dishes. Also, a narrow specialization on a particular type of cuisine or event may help you attract clientele as you work develop a strong customer base.

Make sure you are buying items that are highly sellable, meaning that you there is a large market so you won’t have to wait years to find a buyer. And be disciplined enough only to buy items that allow you plenty of markup for resale. Specialization, or at least having most of your products fit your specialization, is highly likely to increase your chances of success.


While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
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It may sound less glamorous than some of the aforementioned job opportunities, but it’s such an important and impactful role. If you’re already the primary caregiver to children, this type of role may or may not be the right fit, as constant caregiving can be a major drain (just ask a stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad). That said, this line of work, which could either be a full- or part-time job, comes with plenty of job security — there will always be elderly people who need caring for, and someone to brighten their day. Look to in-home senior care if you want to have the relative flexibility of a stay at home job while also making a difference.
Also, make sure you’re up-to-date on CPR, first aid and other emergency procedures. Then make sure your own kids are OK with sharing their home every day. Once all of that is wrapped up, go to your friends and neighbors, your kids’ teachers, your place of worship and anywhere else busy parents are looking for day-care services, and get your word out.
Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you're comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.

CashCrate is an online platform where you can start earning money by completing offers, taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online using their site. I’ve played around on the site a little bit, and you’ll want to make sure that you read all of the fine print on each and every offer. Many offers require an email address, which means you’ll receive offers from them and other marketers. Tasks pay out anywhere from a few cents to $30.00 or more, and you’ll receive $1 for signing up for an account. Payments are made via check or PayPal.
Have a knack for staying organized? If you're a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you'll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you're hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
You will need the right qualifications and experience to land this kind of gig, but if you have teaching experience or foreign language skills you could find work as an online tutor. These online teaching professionals work in a number of different capacities, from formal teaching positions at community colleges and online schools to ad-hoc arrangements with parents and students.
Used-car salesmen unfortunately have some nasty stereotypes to live down, but you don’t need a tacky blazer or a fast-talking sales pitch to make money buying and reselling cars. People throw away perfectly good (or certainly good enough) cars all the time for all sorts of trivial issues. If you know a little something about servicing a car and can make one shine for a Craigslist ad, you could take advantage of massive opportunities to buy used cars and resell them for major profit.
How many promotional emails do you find in your inbox every morning? Probably a ton -- because a ton of companies use them. If you’ve worked in advertising, marketing, publishing or as a copywriter, chances are you can master the skills to work as an email marketer from home. The very nature of the work depends entirely on the internet, so completing the job remotely makes perfect sense.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, approximately 21% of employees work from home on an average day. I’m sure a significant proportion of these people are mothers who are taking care of their children simultaneously. It can be hard to juggle so many responsibilities, but the key to making it work is finding a job with the perfect fit – one that has built-in flexibility, reasonable compensation and engages all of your greatest strengths.
Incidentally, helping others grow their wealth is also a good way to grow your own financial worth as a side business idea. If you have stock market and finance credentials, then you can earn freelance commissions or consulting fees, advising clients on how to get the best returns for their investments as a lucrative side business idea if you can get results for those clients—otherwise this business idea can be the fast-track to alienating friends and family, so be careful.
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No one likes doing taxes, and they need to be paid whether the economy is booming or tanking. This is why at-home tax preparation can be a great business for anyone with a tax background, or anyone willing to take training courses. Since there are annual changes to the tax code, you will need to refresh your training each year, and you will also need to register with the IRS as a tax preparer. This is more of a seasonal business than a year-round endeavor, but it can be a great way to earn some extra income each winter/spring. Median salary: $30,900.
Years ago, when I was training to be a medical transcriptionist (I instead went into general transcription), I kept hearing rumors that the medical transcription field was on its way out, and that medical transcriptionists were going to be replaced by speech recognition software. Fast forward 12 years - the medical transcription profession is going strong! In … Read More
I have a potential opportunity to work for a mid sized company. It would be a good career move (more pay, better title, more responsibility), however, the company does not have any flex options. The manager has said there is no potential to work remotely and although there are no fixed hours, most people seem to get to work much earlier than I would be able to. I only have experience working in large corporations. Do you think this is typical of smaller/mid sized businesses. Also, anyone know of smaller companies that do offer flex opportunities (looking for Strategy/Finance type roles). Appreciate any thoughts!
Direct Sales— This is one of the most common ways of making money for stay-at-home moms. Direct selling is simply selling another person’s product or service to receive a percentage of the sale (commission). This has enormous potential, and can easily help you earn money online. A word of caution though — before you join any business opportunity, investigate the company, make sure the product is available and reliable, and ensure you have a good knack for selling. Stella & Dot is one of my favorite direct sales opportunities.
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but taking online surveys through companies like Survey Junkie do pay  out (a little), believe it or not. Even if the payouts come in the form of Amazon gift cards, sites like Swagbucks can pay well. Just don't expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
Then you can move on to more immersive sales education through online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy, The Guide to Pitching and Selling Clients on CreativeLive. Once you're ready to put your selling skills to the test, check out Angel List and see if any sales position opportunities align with your interests—the last thing you want to do is get stuck selling products or services you're not interested in. However, by starting out your sales career as a side business idea, that gives you the flexibility to easily change courses if you ever need to.
In this increasingly digital world, there has never been a better time to work from home. At-home jobs are the perfect opportunities for those struggling to secure a local gig, need to stay home for health reasons, have to care for a loved one, or simply don't relish the thought of dealing with a hectic commute every day. FlexJobs reported in their The State of Remote Jobs survey that, as of 2017, 43% of U.S. workers now work remotely — even if it's just a part-time side hustle to supplement their income. For remote jobs, you'll need a computer, some basic skills, and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of remote employment areas that are booming right now, plus find even more ways to make money from home.
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