What are good side business ideas

The Best Side Business Ideas (Part Time)

Many people looking to start a side business tend to get hold of one thing: the idea. Most aspiring entrepreneurs, without a good idea, feel like a barrier preventing them from earning on the side.

To get that problem out of the way, we've compiled this list of handy side business ideas. This can help you come up with a great resultpick list You can start testing side business ideas right away.

Eureka! Best ideas for small side businesses are ready to start now. (Source graphic)

As you go through the list below, keep in mind the various criteria that a side business idea is worth. Here's a quick look back:

  • Are you solving a painful side business problem? The more painful the problem you are solving for your customers, and the better you can solve it, the greater the chance that your side business will succeed.
  • Do you have all the skills you need to develop, run and market your ancillary businesses? If you already have most, if not all of the required skills, now is the time to get started. Otherwise, you should plan some time for studying.
  • Do you have the time and money to build this side business? Since this is a side business, you will only operate for a limited time. When a task needs to be done and you don't have the time to do it, completing the task usually means extra funding for salaried help or tools.
  • Is there a large, accessible customer base for this business ?? It all depends on the niche you want to fill. If there are enough of them, and they have the disposable income to spend on your products and services, you won't have to invest as much to achieve them.

The questions above may seem challenging at first, but they can help narrow down the best options.

Below is a list of possible side businesses that you can get started today. They're categorized into six types of categories, with a number of the best little side business ideas to consider. I also add related resources to help you move forward quickly.

1. Online shop - side business ideas

One of the best business ideas is to set up an online store that has various items for sale. Here are some ideas of products to sell, as well as business models that you can use to build a side business:

Arts and crafts

There are many success stories of entrepreneurs who have turned their hobbies from arts and crafts into successful online shops. Some of these businesses can even run into millions after a few years, such as Alicia Schaffer from ThreeBirdNest and Starla Tyler from Little Cosmetics.

ThreeBirdNest online shop.

Many of these stores started with small sales trials where the artist shared his work with friends and family and then received small orders from them. You can sell almost anything from artwork to accessories to household items.

You can use popular platforms like Etsy or Handmade. Or use your own website to sell your items through easy-to-use online shop templates.

This model can be very competitive depending on the type of product you are selling and the customers you are targeting. Etsy alone has 1.7 active sellers on their platform.

The more competitive your niche, the more likely customers are ready - you just need to do quality work and market them better. Because of this, selling arts and crafts means investing a lot of time making and selling enough products to make a profit.

Drop shipping

Unlike the example above, when it comes to drop shipping, you rarely have the product in your hands. You are working with a wholesaler. It works like this: you set up an online shop, a customer buys in the store, their order is sent to the supplier, and the supplier fulfills the order. You receive the difference between the wholesale costs and the price that you have calculated for the item in your online shop.

What makes drop shipping an attractive side business idea is the low risk - you don't buy inventory until someone has placed an order. Most of the grunt jobs, like packing and shipping, are also done by the supplier, so you don't have to spend too much time on it.

The downside is that because of this, you can't put your marketing materials in the box or control the customer's experience of unpacking the product. This means that orders are a missed opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers.

For more information on creating your own online store and drop shipping, please refer to the following guides:

Affiliate marketing

Another way to sell online is through affiliate marketing. In this business model, you sell and promote other companies' products and earn a commission when you make a sale.

Commissions on most products are typically low, but higher products can result in higher commissions. In order to increase your profit, you need to sell larger quantities. Since your success depends on your ability to advertise, affiliate marketing is ideal for people who are already very familiar with online marketing. This handy guide can help you with the details:

2. Freelance - Side business ideas

If selling products is not your thing, perhaps you can offer your skills as professional services. As a freelancer, you need to find clients to pay for your work. Here are some services you can offer:

  • Design. This could include designing graphics, websites, or printing. You can customize everything or use website templates and graphic elements to create designs for your customers.
  • Write. You can write articles, blog posts, e-books, and white papers. You can also provide the Ghostwrite option for customers who want to put their knowledge and experience into words but find it difficult to do so. You can also try becoming a copywriter who specializes in writing sales texts, such as those found in brochures, advertisements, or sales letters.
  • Photography. If you are interested in photography, you can choose to be a freelance photographer. Pick a niche that you can specialize in, such as weddings, pets, school events, promotional and product photography, or portraits. This can involve some startup costs, especially if you don't already have a professional camera.

It's not difficult to set up and get started as a freelancer. However, finding your first customers will take time. The following guides provide some tips on how to get profitable customers quickly:

3. Advice - Side Business Ideas

If you have previous business experience or training, you can offer your services as a consultant. Your customers will pay you not only for your advice, but also for your direct help in achieving a goal.

Career advisor

As a career advisor, you support people with job-related questions. This can include finding a job, planning their career path, improving their resume, and helping them negotiate better compensation.

Business consultant

Unlike career advisors who work with individuals, a business consultant works with organizations. You can specialize in marketing, strategy, IT, leadership, recruiting, or finance. If, as a management consultant, you would like to deal with your skills and interests, you can take a look at this overview to get started.

4. Teaching - Side business ideas

Another quick way to benefit from your expertise is to teach it to others directly. As a small side business, teaching can be a bit time consuming, but it's a great way to capitalize on existing skills without investing too much money. Here are a few ways you can teach on the side:

Online tutoring

If academics are your thing, becoming an online tutor might be good for you. You can teach students who are struggling in subjects you excel in. Common exercise subjects are mathematics, physics, chemistry and languages.

If you have excelled in professional tests such as admissions exams, board exams, or medical admissions exams, you can also work as a test prep tutor. Since you are already teaching skills you already have, you can get started right away and focus on finding students to tutor.

Online courses

Instead of giving one-to-one tuition, you can sell courses that serve multiple people at the same time. This is a more scalable approach than one-to-one classes because you can sell the same material to a larger number of people. These courses can be live or on request. You can deliver course materials in a variety of formats, including audio, video, or written modules. You can teach anything including arts, writing, programming, business, and even sports.

Depending on the length of the course, you may need to invest some time in making materials first. Additionally, you may need to purchase additional tools such as video and audio hosting or a course platform that your students can use to access them. Alternatively, you can use sites like Udemy or Skillshare. If you specialize in design or programming, you can also try becoming an instructor for Tuts +.


For most people, speaking in public is either a chore or a nightmare. However, if you find that you enjoy being on stage and talking about topics that you have in-depth knowledge of, the public speaking session might be for you.

The challenge in professional speaking is marketing for organizations or events that require speakers.

Life counseling

If you have some background in psychology or counseling, you may be well suited for life coaching. As a life coach, you will support clients in mastering the challenges they feel in their personal life.

Corporate coaching

Similar to management consulting, business coaching is about developing your existing business knowledge. The only difference between the two is that in business coaching you have a specific advisory role for a specific person in the company. If you want to know if business coaching is right for your side business, learn more about it in this tutorial.

5. Platforms - Side Business Ideas

Even if this is not a direct business idea, having your own platform (e.g. a blog or podcast) can help market your products and services by reaching more people. And when you have a sufficient number of viewers, you can sell ad space. Affiliate marketing also works as an additional source of income for blogs or podcasts.

A popular platform gives you a lot of options, but it takes hard work to get there. It's possible that you've blogged or podcasting for months and won't see any income for some time. For those who already have significant marketing experience, it will be easier to build that audience and generate income.

to blog

If you are a good writer, you can consider setting up a blog. You can sell your products and services there. You can also sell ad space in some areas of your blog, such as the sidebar, header, and footer. You can sell the ad space directly by reaching out to existing companies or by using a service like Google AdSense which automatically connects advertisers with publishers.


There is a significant start-up cost involved in podcasting because you will need a good quality microphone and possibly editing or recording software. You also need to learn the basics of editing and recording audio. However, if you already have the device and are experienced with audio recording, you can easily create your own podcast. If you're interested in selling ad space, you can record promotional games that will play at the beginning, middle, or end of your episodes.

6. In-Person Services - Side business ideas

Most of the small business ideas listed above are applicable both online and offline. Online businesses tend to be cheap to do side gigs because you don't have to spend time or money traveling. However, if you prefer to do business face-to-face only, here are a few options:

Yard or gardening

Those who love the outdoors and like to dig in the dirt can offer a garden service. This can range from simply trimming lawns and hedges to extensive garden planning and maintenance. Just make sure you have enough energy to do it as a side business as it can be labor intensive. You or your clients also need the right equipment for the services you provide.

Pet sitting

If your interest in cats or dogs is yours, consider being a pet sitter. They can take care of pet owners who need extra help, spend a lot of time at work, or are out of town. Pet sitting tends to be a stable industry as it has been shown to be recession-proof. Pet sitters are usually in demand, especially as pet ownership grows.

Short-time work

Running errands and doing odd jobs for a fee is also a typical way to make money on the side. Sites like TaskRabbit and Care.com have made it easier for customers to find employees to do odd jobs or run errands. The jobs available are varied, including chores, furniture assembling, and grocery business. You can set your own rates and choose jobs based on how they fit your schedule and skills.

Note that this type of short-term work arrangement is becoming more and more common. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute has shown that up to 30 percent of people of working age work in the "gig workforce".

Side business ideas that suit your needs

At the end of the day, the best side business idea is the one that fits your skills well while being doable within the time frame and budget you can allocate for a side gig. Not all of the ideas above will suit everyone, but all you need to do is find a profitable idea that will work for you.