Dog walker, side business concept
Cedric Jackson
By: cjackson
Read in 15 minutes

Best Side Business Ideas

The best side business ideas are the ones that integrate perfectly into your current lifestyle. Side businesses have become a popular solution to the challenges of the modern marketplace. While no business is easy, side businesses offer entrepreneurs the ability to make some extra money doing things they love or have skills without changing careers entirely. Some of the best side business ideas show that entrepreneurs are never lacking in creativity and originality.

Why a Side Business?

Before considering side business ideas, you may ask why you should open a side business in the first place. There are lots of reasons why side business ideas could help you start your own business or supplement an existing one. Here are just a few of the best:

  1. Side business ideas are generally low-cost and easy to start right away.
  2. Side businesses can pretty easily be geared toward financing a startup.
  3. Side business ideas let you test a business idea before fully investing in it.
  4. You can direct a business venture your way and be your own boss.
  5. You can use your side business as a resource for your existing career, drawing more customers into your fold.

30 Great Side Business Ideas

1. Carpentry

Carpentry of all skill levels is a constant need of both individual consumers and companies in your area. If you have carpentry skills, you can put them to valuable use, crafting anything from chairs to countertops, cabinets or customized pieces.

2. Graphic Design

Graphic design is always in high demand. From logos to brochures, business cards, posters, and flyers, or local publications, your graphic design skills are a valuable asset. You can contact the local papers’ ad departments to see if they need help with projects or reach out to local companies to let them know you offer services in their area.

3. Interior Design and Renovation

If your skillset is geared toward creating beautiful spaces with an eye for detail, interior design may be right up your alley. Interior design is a constant need for everyone, from homeowners to real estate agents and commercial businesses. While many larger businesses have standardized layouts, some still allow local stores a wide degree of flexibility in their design.

4. Contractor Referral

If you have a wide network of contractors and construction companies in your area, consider using your interpersonal and professional skills as a contractor referral agent. These services are often provided to consumers for free by collecting referral fees with contractors who agree to be in your agency’s network. This is a great way to help reliable contractors find customers and local homeowners or businesses find trustworthy help.

5. Freelance Copywriting

Copywriting involves creating content for commercial (and sometimes nonprofit) organizations on topics of importance to them. These can range from blog entries, journalistic articles, opinion pieces, tutorials, infotainment pieces, and more. Copywriting is a growing trend for freelancers looking to begin their own business with only their computers and writing skills.

6. Child Care

Many larger child care operations are incredibly expensive. Child care is one of the biggest costs for modern parents. If you’re good with children (or have a background in childhood education), child care could be a great fit. You can reach out to local parents to see if they feel their child care needs and preferences are being met.

 

7. Tutoring

If you’re a naturally talented tutor or you have professional teaching experience, why not start one-on-one tutoring? Your knowledge of different academic, business and personal topics is a valuable business resource. Look at rates in your area for personal tutors and mentors to see what you could expect to earn.

8. Freelance Research and Data Management

Companies are always in need of researchers to assist their staff with data collection and tracking. This can be anything from customer data to sales or marketing. If you can help companies gather and manage data, there’s likely a need for it right around the corner.

9. Proofreading

Proofreaders are needed for everything, from commercial agreements to articles and advertisements. If you’re good with language and enjoy ensuring the accuracy of the information, local businesses can likely use your help.

10. Copy Editing

Along with proofreaders, businesses are in constant need of copy editors. Freelance copy-editing is a great way to do business with multiple companies on your own terms. Your work in finding and correcting mistakes in business materials and improving their readability is not only important work but could be very profitable.

11. Computer Repair

It seems like computers, for all their usefulness, are always breaking down. Components and software are always being damaged by manufacturer defects, viruses and malware, user error, and accidents. Opening a computer repair shop can be as simple as starting in your home and working your way toward a storefront.

12. Catering

If you enjoy cooking and ensuring customers have a flawless meal, you might consider starting a food business from home or even opening a catering business. If any permitting is required in your area, is usually pretty straightforward once you’ve met the basic food safety requirements.

13. Event Planning

Event planners make everyone’s lives easier. From weddings to parties or corporate events and fundraisers, event planners are in high demand in every industry. Every big event you see, private or public, likely had a planner behind it.

14. Food Truck

Opening a food truck or can require more startup costs and preparation than some of the other options on our list, but the food business is always a popular choice for new entrepreneurs. Foodservice involves management, customer service, and organizational skills along with culinary expertise.

15. Online Courses

If you have any expertise that you can pass on to others, creating online courses is a great way to make a business out of it. Platforms like Teachable make it easy to start your own online courses and market them to customers. Anything, from languages to culinary arts, is a valuable asset you can teach to others.

16. Sell Products Online or Import Unique Products

If you have handcrafted or manufactured products of your own or other company’s products you want to sell, it’s easier than ever to sell online. You can easily create your own online shop and connect it with social media presence. Or you can choose a pre-existing platform like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. You can also venture into the importing business.

17. Start a Photography Studio

Photography and videography are always in high demand for weddings, special events, public gatherings, family photos, and more. Applying these skills can be the foundation of a new business. Most people simply cannot create the quality photos they want for the important moments in their lives and business without professional help.

18. Digital Marketing

Businesses often have trouble keeping up with the demands of modern marketing. If you have skills in public relations or advertising, businesses in your area can likely use your help. It’s even better if you have some writing or graphic design experience, too. Digital marketing can be a great business for those looking to apply their skills with little to no startup costs.

19. Social Media Management

As social media continues to grow in importance in daily life and business transactions, more companies need help managing the day-to-day activities of their social media accounts. Even companies with marketing staff often need outside help to carry the load during the holidays or other large ad campaigns.

20. Pet Care Services

If you’re good with pets and enjoy their company, you have lots of options. You could start a pet care service or offer dog grooming and walking. Or you can offer kennels or pet-sitting services. If you are familiar with exotic pets, you may find yourself with customers even outside your immediate area.

21. Travel Agency

Despite the rise of the Internet, people still want travel agents to help them organize the logistics of family vacations, business trips, and honeymoons. If you have a passion for travel and some organization skills, you could make them profitable by helping people get where they want to go!

22. Real Estate Management

Landlords are often unable or simply don’t want the hassle of managing their own properties. Real estate management companies that are local are often preferable because they are more efficient and tend to be more honest than giant corporations. This makes tenants and landlords alike prefer someone based in their area to manage their properties.

23. Market and Media Influencing

Market and media influencers play the role of a middleman between businesses and clients. Media influencers collect referral and advertising fees from business clients in exchange for marketing their products, services, or brand far and wide. If you have skills in social media, advertising, or marketing, you can start a media influencing business from your home.

24. Home Repair

If you have handyman skills or general appliance repair experience, home repair is a great field to get into. You can build a sizeable client base over a period of time with limited advertising and build a solid word of mouth advertising. Like with other maintenance and repair businesses, home repair requires skill and dedication, and sometimes, permitting.

25. Delivery Service

With a bit of startup capital and a solid game plan, you could open a local delivery service. USPS and even Amazon, as well as other businesses of various types, rely on local couriers to finish delivery routes for them. If you see a gap like this somewhere in the market or think you can do better than the competition, go for it.

26. Housekeeping and Professional Cleaning

Housekeeping and professional commercial cleaning companies are always in demand. Most businesses need professional cleaners on a regular basis to do what they can’t. And many homeowners need housekeeping services.

27. Storage/Warehouse Management

If you have a suitable property and some startup funds, consider opening a professional storage unit. Or, if you’d prefer to work with a pre-existing set up, purchase or lease and sublet warehouses to local businesses.

28. Translation Services

Knowing more than one language is a gift all its own that has plenty of personal benefits and advantages. However, translation services are in constant demand and give you the chance to make your language proficiency into a business. If you don’t know a language or are a bit rusty but have some natural skill, you could enroll in a course at a local college or online to help you get ready.

29. Fitness and Lifestyle Training

If you’re in good shape and enjoy helping others lead healthy lives, consider becoming a fitness or lifestyle coach. You can put your own spin on this by emphasizing what you value in fitness and showing your own success in implementing your fitness strategies. Many gyms and classes need tutors, coaches, and class instructors, too.

 

30. Tax Preparation

Even though many online services now exist, plenty of people still want or need a real person to walk them through their taxes. You can become certified as a tax consultant, work independently or with other agencies, and help a wide variety of business and individual clients.

Putting Your Inspiration to Work

Starting a successful side business is all about dedication, planning, and networking. Often, the best side business ideas are the ones that tap into things you’re already doing or have a deep interest in. Side businesses have a number of wonderful potential benefits for you, your family, and your existing entrepreneurial pursuits!

At Camino Financial, our motto is our mission: No business left behind. We take our work helping entrepreneurs like you very seriously, and we find constant inspiration in our clients’ resourcefulness. We are proud to serve entrepreneurs embracing great side business ideas or opening their first primary businesses. The greatest reward for our work is watching entrepreneurs thrive.

Check out this list of the most profitable businesses to get more inspiration!

 

Check if you
qualify for a loan

LEARN MORE