How many hundreds (or thousands) of dollars of stuff do you have sitting in your garage or storage attic waiting for “someday”? You might think it’s worthless junk, but as the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
There’s a lot of money out there in grants, but writing grant proposals can take a lot of time, especially if you are not experienced at it. Like so many other fields, specialization will help get business, and it will allow you to charge much higher fees. And, as you build a track record of successfully securing grants, you will also be able to charge more.
With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome’s marketplace, there’s a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup’s core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you’re browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.
For travelers, hiring a house sitter can offer peace of mind. And offering those doesn’t require you to do anything tech-related, though there are some websites that let you advertise your availability.
Get a roommate. If you have a spare room in your home or apartment, getting a roommate is one way to raise money fast. Not only can they help pay the rent, but they can also help with other bills like utilities, cable, and Internet service.
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.
Always wanted to have a crack at the old writing game? Now’s your chance. Textbroker pays for content for adverts, websites and newsletters. The company acts as a middleman between clients and writers, taking a cut from each piece sold.
Take a look at some paid survey websites listed below. At all of these websites you not only earn some extra cash, but also get rewarded through gift vouchers, prize drawings, free products, etc. All of these sites are free to sign up and use. Heads up: If any survey site asks you to pay, they are probably scams.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, Lynda and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
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.
Unique presents create a great gift and are in growing demand. You could create custom hand-made gift baskets for customers and provide individual gift baskets for every customer. Once again convenience is what customers are willing to pay for.
The idea is that homeowners place the stickers corresponding to the items they own on their mailbox, letting passersby know that they can knock on the door and request to borrow something. There will inevitably be security concerns with such an initiative, but in trustworthy neighborhoods the idea has obvious merit.