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.
Maybe you have a commute that makes you frustrated before you even hit your desk, and all you can do while you drink your morning coffee is fantasize about what you could buy with all that gas money. For employees who work far from the office, cutting out the commute can make a world of difference for their stress and overall health. For Charlie Harary, CEO of H3 & Company and professor at the Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, cutting down on how many days a week one of his employees needed to commute allowed one employee to get more done in her working hours. “I have an employee that has a two-hour commute to the office each way. Once day, she mentioned to me that she had to leave early to get home in time to make a family obligation. I asked her why and she detailed out her daily commute. I was shocked by the sheer difficulty it was for her to get to the office each day.”
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you're offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
I created my own niche after my divorce last year by learning Google Adwords and now handle my own accounts and do contract work for a local digital marketing agency. I set up accounts and rehab / optimize existing ones. Adwords is a platform built for the small solo operator AND big corporations, so there is a lot within the dashboard to sort & sift through. I basically assist small local service businesses get set up right so they don’t continue to lose money. Plus I offer interactive lessons (not something many people do out there at all). Google Adwords is huge and growing (partly how Google makes its BILLIONS). If you love data analysis, marketing in general, writing on point & creative ad copy, and simply LEARNING, the opportunities are there for TRUE self-starters. You also have to have super attention to detail with spelling, etc. I don’t have a college degree, mind you, but was hungry to learn it all. I am at heart a teacher and helper (and have always been geared towards marketing). I have owned my own little businesses as a house cleaner and professional organizer and then segued into Adwords (after building my own cleaning & organizing campaigns). Did so after I had my 2nd boy in 10/2015 and one in K at the time. I had to find a way to work from home because the chaos of meeting the school bus and dropping off and picking up at the sitter was getting a little crazy. 🙂 I recommend looking into Adwords. You can even get certified. That is my next goal.
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 as a potentially lucrative side business idea. 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—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.
NextWave Advocacy, LLC contracts with news junkies that are politically aware, home-based individuals who are critical thinkers to make outbound calls to educate citizens and help them participate in contacting their elected officials. No sales or fundraising calls are involved. This is not a telemarketing opportunity. The pay is $12.00 per hour with a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week.
But if you do go the fashion route, be prepared to do quite a bit of networking before you get your business off the ground. Don’t be afraid to do free consultations for contests and giveaways. The more word gets around about your fabulous fashion sense, the larger a clientele you’ll build. If you’re really good, you can start this business with little to no training.
Mechanical Turk operates much like TaskRabbit and GigWalk: it’s a corner online where Amazon gathers tasks to be done, people willing to do them, and people willing to pay for them. On Mechanical Turk, you get to do the oddest jobs you can imagine as an online business idea, made possible by a parallel online universe that runs on hits, visits, surveys, reviews, pins, likes, CPCs, reads, and other metrics. But don’t get too ambitious. The small sums being paid out to human Mechanical Turk users rarely add up to anything seriously substantial, even if you invest most of your spare time into it. It's a better opportunity for internationally-based people with internet access and lower costs of living than in the US. Here’s one person’s account of his former life as a Mechanical Turk talking through how he got started with this business idea and what the experience was really like.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.
If you’re the sort who takes apart the computer for fun, operating an electronics repair shop out of your home is a natural decision. In particular, repairing iPads and other tablets would provide you with a great deal of business, as many tablet users are looking for a less expensive way to fix smashed screens and other damages that can be costly through the manufacturer. Median salary: $49,170.
What They Do: “We’re on a mission to help people everywhere find a job and a company they love. In the process, we’re transforming an entire industry through the power of transparency. At Glassdoor, you have the chance to be amazing at work and amazing at life. We know that professional success depends on personal wellbeing. That’s why we empower you with the tools and services you need to succeed in every area of your life”