Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, you’re in good company.
According to the U.S. Census’ Business Formation Statisticsreport, more people started a new business in the third quarter of 2020 than at any other time since the agency began keeping records. The country is experiencing a new business boom.
You might be ready to start your own business from scratch and you’re looking for a business idea that you can get up and running quickly. Or perhaps you’d rather start a low-cost side business while working a full-time job.
Either way, becoming an entrepreneur is an excellent way to increase your income, create job security, and experience the unique thrill of being your own boss.
Side Business Ideas to Start Now
So, what kind of side hustle should you start? There are literally thousands of business opportunities out there.
Some are relatively easy to get into. Others require significant time and small-business capital to get off the ground.
Thankfully, there are plenty of small-business opportunities that you can get started on today.
1. Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) are professionals who provide remote administrative assistance to busy professionals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
VAs typically schedule appointments, handle phone calls, do research and data entry, answer emails, manage social media accounts, and much more.
The VA industry is experiencing rapid growth right now. According to a 2021 poll conducted by NanoGlobals, VA hiring increased by 41% in 2020 compared to the year before.
And this aggressive growth is expected to continue. A 2021 report by Research and Markets estimates the industry will grow by $4.12 billion by 2025.
To succeed as a VA you’ll need to be very detail-oriented, have a customer service mindset, and be willing to learn complex tasks quickly. You also need good time management skills and have the ability to meet client deadlines.
To boost your credibility, join the International Virtual Assistants Association.
While startup costs are relatively low, you will need a quiet home office space and a fast Internet connection so that you’re able to meet client needs quickly and effectively.
2. Become a Tutor
Tutoring is not only a great way to earn some money on the side, but it’s also a very satisfying job.
Students of all ages need tutors for math, science, reading, foreign languages, and other subjects. If you’re skilled in a certain area, you can use your knowledge to help others succeed.
To get started tutoring, put up flyers at local schools and libraries, as well as on Craigslist. You might also want to sign up with Wyzant to become an online tutor. Once you tutor for a few families, the best way to get additional business is through referrals.
If you’re interested in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) online, you can get started with VIPkid. Earning a TEFL certificate is a prerequisite, but you can earn one through Premier TEFL.
3. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Becoming a part-time rideshare driver with Uber or Lyft has quickly become a popular side business, especially in bigger cities where rides are in high demand. Drivers are required to have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and at least one year of driving experience.
The money you earn varies depending on location and the time of day you choose to drive, but drivers love being able to work around their own schedule. Uber drivers can sign up for Instant Pay, and earnings will be available immediately to a debit card up to five times per day.
Driving for Uber or Lyft is one of the easiest side businesses you can start because, if you already have a car, there are no startup costs.
4. Become a Delivery Driver
Another business opportunity for anyone who loves driving around town is to become a delivery driver. Companies like UberEats and DoorDash are always looking for qualified drivers that can deliver food from restaurants.
Instacart is another option for drivers. Its business model is slightly different. Instead of picking up and delivering restaurant orders, you’ll be delivering groceries.
Each of these ideas would make a great side business. They give you the flexibility to deliver around your existing schedule.
Don’t have a car? Not a problem. As a delivery driver, you also have the ability to use a scooter, bike, and even your feet.
5. Start a Blog
If you love to write and you don’t mind working hard, blogging might be a great business idea for you.
One of the benefits of starting a blog is that there are so many different ways to earn passive income.
You can earn money with advertising or affiliate marketing. You can set up an online store with Shopify and sell products with dropshipping, write an e-book or develop an educational course and sell access to the content through your blog, or start a podcast.
Setting up your own website or blog is easy and inexpensive. Bluehost offers a free domain name and hosting costs as little as $2.95 per month.
To succeed with this online business, think outside the box and come up with content that provides a unique solution for people. You also need to be well versed in web design, and how to use social media and search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your site.
Although it’s relatively easy to become a blogger, succeeding with this business takes time. If you truly want to earn a full-time income with a blog or e-commerce site, you must treat it like a new business and put a significant amount of time into growing your website and generating traffic.
6. Invest in Real Estate
Roofstock is making it extremely simple to invest in real estate — even in areas not in your hometown — helping you crunch all the numbers including potential cash flow. Roofstock also guarantees you’ll have a tenant in the property within 45 days or they will cover 90% of the mortgage payment.
If you’re not interested in being a landlord but still want to have real estate in your portfolio, you can invest through DiversyFund. The company gives you access to commercial real estate for as little as $500.
7. Rent Your RV
If you own an RV there is a good chance it sits unused for months out of the year. With Outdoorsy or RVshare, you can rent your RV to people in your area who are looking for a more comfortable camping experience. You set your own nightly rates but it’s best to scope out other rentals in your area and price accordingly.
You could also earn more by offering tour guide services to people who come to vacation in your RV.
8. Walk Dogs or Pet Sit
Starting a neighborhood dog walking or pet sitting business is an inexpensive way to earn extra money.
According to the American Pet Products Association, over 46 million households in the U.S. own a pet. And in spite of an up-and-down economy, household spending on pets keeps going up. In 2020, U.S. consumers spent $103.6 billion on their pets.
If you’re interested in becoming a dog walker or pet sitter, sign up with Rover.com. You can create an online profile and start receiving business the same day.
9. Become a Child Life Coach
Adults have life coaches, executive coaches, and fitness coaches, to name a few. Children can have their own coaches as well.
A child life coach helps children develop important life skills that their parents might not have time for and that schools don’t teach. Parents might also hire a child life coach if they don’t feel confident that they can help their child develop a certain skill set.
A child life coach can help teach kids and young adults how to stand up to bullies, say no to drugs, manage their emotions, manage their time more effectively, overcome failure, and many more life skills.
Although this can be a profitable and rewarding side business, you definitely need a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of others and patience and empathy to be a good listener for your clients.
You can learn more about becoming a certified kids life coach through Kids Life Studio.
10. Sell Your Creativity
Do you love drawing or designing T-shirts? Do you have excellent graphic design skills? Why not turn your creations into your own business?
You can make and sell a wide variety of products including T-shirts, mugs, bags, shoes, stamps, hoodies, binders, skateboards, and much more.
11. Start an Senior Care Business
Some seniors have a hard time cleaning their home, redecorating, going to the grocery store, driving to appointments, or cooking. You can earn extra income assisting seniors with these basic tasks.
The need for senior care is expected to grow as the Baby Boomer population continues to age. The U.S. Census reports that by 2030, all 73 million people in this generation will be over age 65.
And as they age, they will increasingly need help with daily living activities and errands, especially as many seniors live far from their children who would otherwise do these tasks for them.
How much can you earn with a senior care business? According to Care.com, in 2018 the average rate for in-home senior care was $17.32 per hour. However, this will vary depending on your location and the services you offer.
12. Become a Freelance Writer
With talent and hard work, you can easily earn a full-time income as a freelance writer.
Need some proof to back this up? Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty.com earns over $200,000 each year as a freelance writer. She’s even created an online course called Earn More Writing. This course will teach you everything you need to know to start your own freelance writing business.
Competition in this industry can be fierce because many people have turned to freelancing to earn extra money. The good news, however, is that quality writing never goes out of style. If you focus on quality writing and you’re persistent, you will find work as a freelance writer.
Check out sites like Fiverr.com and Upwork to get started, and learn more about factors to consider when setting freelance writing rates. You can also use social media sites like LinkedIn to connect with potential clients.
13. Start a Pooper Scooper Business
Dog waste cleanup is actually a booming business, and it’s not hard to see why. No one really wants to pick up pet waste in their yards. If they can afford it, they’re going to pay someone else to do this dirty job.
Pooper scoopers generally charge $15 or more per dog per week. And you’ll service each yard once or twice per week. Of course, large yards or yards that haven’t been cleaned in a while will cost more.
14. Cater Events
According to Inc.com, the catering business is a $70 billion industry. Yes, more people are cooking at home to save money, but there are still plenty of busy families and professionals out there who simply don’t have time to cook healthy, delicious meals. If you’re talented in the kitchen, you could earn extra money catering on the side.
There are plenty of ways to start a catering business without offering a f
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