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10 Side Business Ideas that Pack a Punch!

Most of us can do with a little extra cash, in fact, quite a lot. A 2013 survey conducted by found that 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Board has been conducting a survey to monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers and found that 47% of respondents would have to pay for a $400 emergency by borrowing or selling something.

So, in the interest of being able to stash away a little money for an emergency, why NOT start a side business in order to save for a rainy day? It’s fiscally sound and can turn into quite a lucrative operation! Granted, each person’s opportunities for what their business options are vary depending on their particular abilities. However, here are a few ideas to help you hit the ground running:

Side Business Idea #1: Graphics Design

Do you find yourself playing around with visual graphics on your computer, or do you absolutely have a knack for visual design/text? You can absolutely turn that into a low-key business venture! Websites like allow you to expand your play time activities into something that actually generates revenue. Put your Photoshop skills to use! One particular upside of this venture is that is has an extremely low overhead. You can practically jump right in.
Side Business Idea #2: Soaps/Candles
Finding a class on how to make soaps and/or candles is extremely easy nowadays and demand for the products is high! Everyone wants nice smelling, quality products and gives you the perfect platform to sell your impeccable, ambrosia like wears! You’ll have to invest around $150 initially to buy the products and take the class. However, once you’re up and going and have an established business then the sky is the limit. It’s a perfect side business that you can do on your off time and you are your own boss. It’s also a great way to express your creativity! Think up some funky smells, throw in some dried flowers, go crazy!
Side Business Idea #3: Web Development.

This side business takes a bit more of an investment in terms of time. You WILL build
exceedingly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. However, you will HAVE to build up those skills. Luckily, you can do just that by learning how to build websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy and Codecademy. Once you go through the ropes and learn the type of coding you desire, you can start a freelance business on the side while maintaining your full-time job. At some point, your side business can become your full-time one, if you so desire. Who knows?

Side Business Idea #4: Amazon/Ebay/Poshmark Reselling.

Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, Ebay, or Poshmark, provided you have products to sell. I’ll be honest, I used to resell on Ebay. I would go to the local Goodwill, find clothes that people donated and then sell them at a mark up. It was key to find brands that people would pay top dollar for. At the time I did it, women loved to buy clothes from Anthropologie. I was in school at the time and needed to study, so going to Goodwill every so often and then posting clothes online that sold themselves was a great way to make money with minimal effort. It’s not a bad idea to start small, make some money, and reinvest once you’ve got the hang of it.

Side Business Idea #5: Remote English Teacher/Tutor

Believe it or not, you don’t need ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation in order to be an English language teach/tutor! What luck! As long as you’re a native speaker, there are people in countries such China and the United Arab Emirates who will happily pay upwards of $25/hr for you to teach them English via Skype., Learn4Good and often have remote English tutoring jobs posted.
Side Business Idea #6: Drive for Uber or Lyft
Driving for either “ride-sharing” app is not necessarily glamorous. Furthermore, you do need a car. However, it can be a very lucrative way to earn money on nights and weekends and you set your own hours. A couple Lyft drivers I spoke to reported earning up to $200 in an evening, another man reported an income of $1800 a month. That’s not too bad!
Side Business Idea #7: Dog Walking

If for no other reasons, do it for the dogs! The nice thing about dog walking as a side business is that it’s not only a great form of exercise, but it’s recurring work because (obviously) dogs needs to regularly be walked! Also, the start-up for dog walking is approximately nothing unless you need to buy new shoes or maybe put gas in your car. Furthermore, the dog walking industry in the United States has blown up recently. If you’re convinced and ready to get in on the action, there’s an app called Wag that links up dog walkers and pet owners.

Side Business Idea #8: Becoming a Notary Public.

A Notary Public is appointed by state government —typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents. Typical documents include affidavits, oaths, deeds, estates, special-powers-of-attorney, and business agreements. Notary public’s annual salary can average around $36,000. As a heads up, it frequently requires going to specific locations to witness the signing of documents by specific parties, so you would need transportation. It’s certainly an easy way to make some extra cash though, and people love to have the option of a weekend notary public. Definitely something to keep in mind!

Side Business Idea #9: Be a TaskRabbit

If you want some extra cash but don’t really have an entrepreneurial spark in you, then TaskRabbit is the service for you! is an on-demand errand-running service that matches up people who need help with people who want to help! You can earn money in your spare time completing real-world tasks on its unique platform. For example, one user in Atlanta makes a full-time living assembling IKEA furniture! Don’t feel like going outside and being social? That’s ok! The platform also allows for virtual work like online research and other tasks that can be done remotely.

Side Business Idea #10: Sell Your Creativity
Do you have an artistic flair? Can that artistic creativity be channeled into drawing or designing t-shirts? Why not turn that creativity into revenue? Sites like CafePress and Zazzle take all the hard work out of it; they do the printing and shipping…so start designing! You can make and sell items including:T-shirts, mugs, bags, shoes, stamps, hoodies, binders, skateboards, and more. Check it out and see what there is to offer and start getting your art on, Picasso!