Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Not all entrepreneurs are able to jump right into full time business ownership. Some would rather start small or just stick with business ideas they can work on part time. If you fall into that category, have a look at the following list of side businesses you can start to provide supplemental income.

Make sure to also check out: A Guide to Taxes for Your Side Business

Our Methodology: Side Business Ideas

For individuals looking to start a side business, choosing the right idea is crucial for balancing it with their primary job or commitments. At Small Business Trends, we’ve tailored a set of criteria to help evaluate potential side business ideas effectively. Each factor is rated on an importance scale where 10 represents the highest level of importance. This ensures a focused approach to identifying the most viable and rewarding side business options. Here’s our methodology:

Time Commitment and Flexibility

Our Importance Scale: 10/10
Considering the amount of time required and the flexibility of the business to fit around existing commitments is crucial.

Initial Investment and Overhead Costs

Our Importance Scale: 9/10
Evaluating the startup costs and ongoing expenses to ensure they are manageable and do not place undue financial strain.

Profit Potential

Our Importance Scale: 8/10
Assessing the potential for earnings and the time it might take to start seeing a profit.

Skills and Expertise Required

Our Importance Scale: 7/10
Matching the business idea with your current skills, knowledge, and interests can reduce the learning curve and increase enjoyment.

Market Demand

Our Importance Scale: 7/10
Understanding the demand for the product or service to ensure there is a viable market.


Our Importance Scale: 6/10
The potential to grow the business in the future, should you choose to expand.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

Our Importance Scale: 5/10
Being aware of any licenses, permits, or regulations that apply to the business idea.

Work-Life Balance

Our Importance Scale: 5/10
Ensuring the business does not overly encroach on personal time and well-being.

Competitive Landscape

Our Importance Scale: 4/10
Understanding the level of competition and identifying a niche or unique selling proposition.

Passion and Interest

Our Importance Scale: 4/10
Engaging in a business that aligns with your interests can be more fulfilling and sustainable.

This framework provides a structured approach to assess different side business ideas, helping you to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals, resources, and lifestyle.

Side Businesses to Start

T-shirt Designer

You can sell T-shirts and similar products with custom designs or artwork on any number of online platforms. Sites like CafePress and Redbubble will print the shirts and handle other aspects of the sale for you in exchange for a portion of each sale. This may start small, but it is a scalable business idea.

House Cleaner

Set aside a day or two per week, or even just a small portion of each day, to visit clients’ homes and do a deep cleaning. It’s a flexible job with tons of profit potential.


Set up a proofreading business online by letting clients send you their work and offering a few set prices or packages for your editing and proofreading services.

Virtual Assistant

People hire virtual assistants for a variety of functions, from responding to emails to organizing schedules. You can offer those services from the comfort of your own home while enjoying tons of time flexibility.


If you start a blog about a topic you’re really knowledgeable about, you can monetize it through advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate links or infoproducts.

eBay Seller

You can easily open an eBay store for a number of different types of products, especially anything that’s highly collectible.

Portrait Photographer

If you’re well-versed in photography and have the right equipment, you can set up photography appointments with clients on the weekend or just a few times throughout each week.

Uber Driver

Transportation services like Uber and Lyft allow you to make extra money by driving customers to their destinations. And you can do it completely on your own schedule.

Social Media Manager

Offer your social media expertise to local businesses or small online businesses by setting up and managing their online accounts. You can enjoy tons of work life balance to start and then scale the business over time.

Yoga Instructor

Yogis, you can offer classes or even private lessons in your home, a rented studio space, or even online.

Tour Guide

If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, you can lead tour groups or offer informational services on the weekends.

Dog Walker

Reach out to pet owners in your local community and offer to walk their dogs for a short time each day or even just a few times a week. This is one of the most flexible options available, with tons of market demand in most areas.

Web Designer

Lots of companies and even indiviuals will pay freelancers and Web professionals to design and create high-quality websites.

Tax Preparer

Offer to prepare tax returns for customers in exchange for a small fee. This side business is likely to be fairly busy during tax season, but not much throughout the rest of the year.

eBook Writer

Anyone can write and self publish books these days. Just come up with a concept, write on your own schedule, and then sell your book on platforms like Amazon’s Kindle library.

Computer Repair

If you’re knowledgeable about computers and technology, you can offer computer repair services to customers in your area. There’s tons of profit potential and low competition in many niche markets.


Offer your services as a tutor to students that need help in a subject that you’re knowledgeable about. You can even specialize in a specific subject with low competition.


Start a podcast where you talk about an interesting topic. And you can even charge for ads if your podcast has a sizeable base of listeners.

House Sitter

You can make money by watching people’s homes while they’re out of town. Build a client base in your area through word of mouth or even by using a site like

Vintage Seller

Sell vintage clothing, accessories and home goods that you’ve collected over the years at local flea markets, antique booths or on sites like Etsy or eBay.

Property Manager

If you own multiple homes or properties, or have the resources to buy them, you can make a business out of renting them out.

Vacation Rentals

For more short-term rentals, you can list your home or a part of your home on sites like Airbnb so that vacationers can pay to stay there.

Dance Instructor

You can offer dance classes or private instruction to adults or children in your home or a rented studio space.

Affiliate Marketer

Set up a website, blog or some social media profiles and earn money by posting affiliate links to relevant products or services.

App Developer

If you have some mobile tech savvy, you can earn extra income by putting together applications for businesses or even making your own. This is one of the most profitable and scalable business ideas for those with this skillset.

Resume Writer

Charge a fee to put together professional looking resumes and/or cover letters for interested job seekers.

Estate Sale Service

When people have estate sales, they often use estate sale managers to help them put everything together. Charge a fee to help them organize the items and facilitate sales.

Handyman Service

If you’re handy, you can help customers fix things around their homes and finish random tasks. There’s tons of market demand for these services.

Interior Designer

Help clients design and lay out their homes and guide them when it comes to other décor elements.

Mobile Laundry Service

You can provide laundry and folding services to local customers by picking up their items, washing and drying them and then returning them.

Moving Service

If you have a truck and some strength (or strong employees) you can help people in your area by packing their items and helping them move.

Product Licensing

Got a unique idea for a new product? You can create the idea, get it patented and then sell the licensing rights to another company so you don’t have to spend the time manufacturing and shipping the items yourself. Thanks to the flexibility of this business model, there’s tons of scalability and profit potential.

Vehicle Advertising

Some businesses will pay people to place ads in their vehicles and drive around. You can offer up your own vehicle as another income stream.

Professional Organizer

Help clients get organized by going through their homes and/or offices and coming up with systems for storing and utilizing all of their items.

Home Inspector

If you have some knowledge about homes and local codes, you can offer your services as an inspector for people who are buying and/or selling their homes.

Smartphone Repair

With the growing popularity of smartphones, more people are in need of repair services for things like cracked screens or broken buttons.

Hair Stylist

Use your hair styling talents to offer cutting, coloring and/or styling services to local clients out of your home or a rented space.

Makeup Artist

Likewise, you can offer makeup services to people before special events or those looking to purchase new makeup products.

Furniture Upcycler

If you’re the DIY type, you can purchase cheap or used furniture and give it an upgrade with some paint or other unique touches.

Junk Remover

When businesses or individuals go through construction or clean out their spaces, they may find themselves in need of junk removal services. If you have the right equipment, you can charge a fee to remove those items for clients.

Pet Groomer

Animal lovers, you can offer grooming services to dogs, cats and other furry friends out of your home.

Domain Seller

Just as you can buy and resell physical items, you can purchase online domain names and then resell them to interested buyers.

Online Course Instructor

Share your knowledge on a particular subject with interested students by offering online courses. Find a subject you’re passionate about and one with little competition to really set your course apart and maximize profits.


Love baking? You can sell baked goods online, at events or to local businesses.


Or if you prefer putting together more all-inclusive meals, you can offer catering services on the weekends or for occasional events in your area.

Logo Designer

If you’ve got some design savvy, you can offer your services to businesses looking for simple logos or other branding elements. This is an incredibly profitable and scalable idea.


You can also offer your services as an illustrator for more in-depth pieces or even sell prints of your artwork.


You can build a variety of different items with wood, from furniture to small toys, and then sell them online or to local stores.

Event Planner

Help clients plan parties, weddings and other events by dealing with vendors, managing guest lists and organizing other aspects.


Use your writing skills to put together copy for websites or other professional outlets.

YouTube Personality

You can start a YouTube channel to share information about any number of topics that interest you. Then you can make money through ads or influencer promotions. The more you scale your business, the more potential there is for profit.

Social Media Influencer

You can also become an influencer on other social platforms, sharing information about various products and brands.

Music Instructor

If you play an instrument or even sing, you can offer music or voice lessons out of your home or a rented space.

Stock Photographer

Photographers, you can take photos and submit them to stock photography sites so that people can use or purchase them for their own sites or content.


Offer your services as a DJ for bars, restaurants or even special events in your area.

Business Consultant

Use your business knowledge to help others by offering coaching or consulting services to other business owners or related clients. The market demand for seasoned consulting is high, depending on your niche and background.

Public Speaker

Or if you have interesting knowledge on a topic, you can offer your services as a speaker for various events.

Jewelry Maker

Create your own unique jewelry designs and sell them online or at local craft fairs.


Or you can offer to mow lawns, pull weeds or do other landscaping work throughout the summer.

Athletic Trainer

Share your athletic or fitness knowledge with clients through courses or personal training sessions.

Pool Cleaner

Spend time outside and make some extra money during the summer months by offering to clean pools for people in your community.

Clothing Alterations

If you know how to sew, you can offer alteration services to customers who need clothing or other fabric re-sized or changed in some way.

Child Care Provider

Babysitting or child care services make for a great side business. You can run a part time day care out of your home or just babysit for families on occasion. There’s tons of market demand and ability to scale this business over time.

Voice Actor

Companies often hire voice actors to help with commercials, videos or other audio content. You can offer your services to those companies if you’ve got a unique or commanding voice.


You can also make some extra income by investing in businesses or even helping others choose where to invest their money.

Balancing Act: Navigating Part-Time Entrepreneurship

While launching a full-time business might be the ultimate goal for many, it’s important to recognize that not every entrepreneur is in a position to dive headfirst into business ownership. There are individuals who prefer to start small or work part-time on business ideas to supplement their income or fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations. Here’s a look at the challenges and benefits of part-time entrepreneurship, and some strategies for effectively managing this balancing act.

Challenges and Benefits of Part-Time Entrepreneurship

Starting a side business while maintaining other commitments comes with its own set of challenges. Time management becomes critical as you juggle between your primary job, personal life, and business aspirations. It can be challenging to carve out dedicated time for your side venture without compromising other areas of your life.

However, there are also notable benefits to embarking on the part-time entrepreneurship journey. Firstly, it provides a lower-risk entry into the business world. You can test your business idea, validate its market potential, and refine your strategies without the full financial commitment that a full-time business would demand. Additionally, part-time entrepreneurship allows you to maintain a stable income while gradually building your business, reducing the financial strain that often accompanies full-time startups.

Strategies for Success

Clear Goals and Priorities: Define your goals for the side business. Are you looking to eventually transition to full-time entrepreneurship? Or do you want to maintain it as a supplementary income stream? Clarifying your objectives will guide your decisions and actions.
Effective Time Management: Create a detailed schedule that allocates specific time blocks for your part-time business. Consistency is key. Even dedicating a few hours each day can yield meaningful progress over time.
Delegate and Automate: Identify tasks that can be outsourced or automated. Utilize tools and platforms to streamline processes and save time, allowing you to focus on high-value activities.
Mindful Balance: Avoid burnout by striking a healthy work-life balance. Overexerting yourself in both your day job and your side business can lead to exhaustion. Make time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones.
Progressive Growth: Accept that your side business may not grow at the same pace as a full-time venture. Embrace incremental progress and celebrate milestones along the way.
Networking and Support: Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, whether in-person or through online communities. Their insights and experiences can provide valuable guidance and motivation.
Adaptability: Be prepared to adjust your strategies based on feedback and changing circumstances. Flexibility is essential when managing multiple commitments.


Clear Goals and Priorities
Define your goals for the side business, whether it’s transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship or maintaining it as supplemental income. Clearly defined objectives will guide your decisions and actions.

Effective Time Management
Develop a detailed schedule allocating specific time blocks for your part-time business. Consistency, even with a few hours each day, can lead to substantial progress over time.

Delegate and Automate
Identify tasks that can be outsourced or automated. Utilize tools and platforms to streamline processes, saving time for high-value activities that demand your personal attention.

Mindful Balance
Strike a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout. Avoid overexertion in both your day job and side business by making time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending quality moments with loved ones.

Progressive Growth
Recognize that your side business may grow at a different pace than full-time ventures. Embrace gradual progress and celebrate milestones along the way, acknowledging your accomplishments.

Networking and Support
Connect with fellow entrepreneurs through in-person interactions or online communities. Gain insights and motivation from their experiences, which can offer valuable guidance throughout your journey.

Be ready to adapt strategies based on feedback and changing circumstances. Flexibility is crucial when managing multiple commitments. Adjust your approach to effectively navigate challenges and seize opportunities.

Part-time Entrepreneurship
Combines discipline, effective time management, and adaptability. Setting realistic goals, managing time, and fostering a supportive network allow you to navigate challenges and pursue entrepreneurial dreams alongside existing commitments. Every small step contributes to your business success.

Part-time entrepreneurship requires a unique blend of discipline, time management, and adaptability. By setting realistic goals, managing your time effectively, and cultivating a supportive network, you can navigate the challenges and enjoy the benefits of pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams without leaving your existing commitments behind. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, brings you closer to your ultimate vision of business success.

Related reading:

51 Business Ideas for 2020

Businesses You Can Start for Less than $100

Low Tech Business Ideas

Small Business Ideas for the Summer

Yoga, Tour Guide, Property, Moving, Grooming, Laughing, Pool Image via Shutterstock

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