If you've developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.

Regular exercising of dogs helps them stay healthy and eliminates many bad behaviors due to their inactivity. Professional dog walkers exercise one to several dogs at a time for their clients, walking regular routes and/or taking them to dog exercise areas. Having previous education and experience in training dogs will help you handle a variety of dog breeds, plus qualify you as an expert.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side  business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you'll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
If you are proficient in both Macintosh and PC, you should offer training in both types of computers. You could probably make a living helping seniors learn how to use the internet and e-mail to keep in touch with their loved ones, who are now commonly spread around the country. Err on the side of caution in this business. People do not want to know all the details about what makes a computer work. If you overload them with information from the beginning by explaining bits, bytes, and megapixels, they will stick to their paper and pencil forever.
Working as a freelancer is a great way to make money online from the comfort of your own home. The beauty of freelancing is that you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can freelance for a couple of hours a week in the evenings to help save up for a holiday or some much-needed home improvements. Or carve out a full-time job for yourself, giving you a more satisfying work-life balance and enabling you to do the simpler things in life like taking the kids to school. With so many jobs available online, freelancing is becoming more and more popular.
Are you skilled at a few special recipes or are your friends going crazy over your cakes? You know who you are. It might be time to take your talents to the making some extra money. People love to buy homemade goods, especially when you have a signature item or a story behind it. You can contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc. Or, consider holiday sales for local Christmas parties, birthdays and more.
Englewood, Colorado-based TTEC has been around since 1982, and is a business process outsourcing company. It provides services around the world, and operates delivery centers in 24 countries. TTEC provides work-from-home situations for consultants, customer service professionals, students, and veterans. In fact, the company employs more than 20,000 work-at-home employees.
Getting businesses to advertise on your podcast, either at the beginning or end or both is a great way to create a revenue through podcasts. Most businesses won’t be keen to advertise on your podcast until you can prove a large number of listeners. Therefore, it is unlikely you will be able to start out from the get-go with sponsors. But once you accumulate regular listeners or a high number of downloads from iTunes, you can start to sell advertising space on your podcasts.
If you have a background in a specific field, you may find there is a demand for writing industry papers in your area of expertise. For example, there are often adverts for doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, and business experts from particular niches, to write white papers on different subject areas. These are well paid jobs that you will need to stake your reputation on, but that can often be worked on from the comfort of your own home.

You can't find a better place to write online than About.com. People who write for About.com are experts in the topic they write about and just about every subject you can imagine is covered here. Whether you love container gardening or you're a hardcore Android programmer, About.com is full of information that makes the site and its writers an authority readers trust.


Furthermore, carefully consider your likely attendees, and what schedule would be attractive to them. For example, if you’re planning on teaching a tutoring class, you obviously couldn’t schedule it during school hours. Likewise, a class aimed at mothers of young children will either have to include babysitting services or be scheduled at night, when they’re more likely to have help with the kids. Find the delicate balance of times that fit your prospective students’ schedules as well as your own.
Trading options might seem risky if you have very little capital to spare. But it's also a great way to enter into a market that would otherwise cost you an arm and a leg if you were to buy the stocks at full price. With options, you can participate in the movement of a stock without having to put up all the money to actually buy that stock. For example, if Amazon costs $1000 a share, buying a 1,000 shares will cost $1 million. But, 10 call options at $10 each (with each option representing 100 shares of stock) costs $10,000. 
It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastically easy business idea that can fund your ability to live in exciting locales around the world (or your city) without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Here’s a list of four great websites from the legendary Nomadic Matt, to start your housesitting side business idea search.
No matter what method you choose to make money online, understand that you might be able to make some money fast, but for the sizable returns, you'll need significant sweat equity. However, a year from now, you'll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter. 
Fences are everywhere. And they don't last forever, so they need to be repaired and replaced with a certain amount of frequency. The most common fence material is wood. However, vinyl has become a popular fence choice due to its longevity and relative freedom from maintenance. Wrought iron is another common fencing, especially in urban environments. You can have fun shopping for vintage wrought iron fencing at salvage yards.
Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
I look for deals that have multiple other products they sell, so that if this products slows down, they can use the revenues of other products to pay back. I also look at deals that have multiple offers they’ve paid back on Kickfurther, and also for companies that have robust retail distribution partnerships in place (like they are at Target, Walmart, etc) rather than companies that are more seasonal and rely on trade shows and such, which is unpredictable and expensive.

With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.


My local Craigslist.org is the first place I go to sell something. It's best for items you think will appeal to everyone (therefore justifying the smaller audience) and large items that can't be shipped. Craigslist.org is great for taking your yard sale items online for local sales. For example, a friend recently bought two fans from people that live close to him. These one-off type items do very well on Craigslist. Just remember to use common sense and be safe out there.
If you can write copy that gets people excited about purchasing what your client has to sell, you can make good money in this business. Unless you are highly experienced from working in the copywriting field, take a course. There are online courses or classes at community colleges and universities that can give you a leg up in getting savvy at writing copy for brochures, catalogs, advertising and, of course, marketing copy for the web.
 Tutoring can be done in-home or online. The in-home tutoring will take networking and teaching experience to build your business. Online tutoring, however, can be done through companies that connect tutors with students while providing the needed infrastructure (i.e. web conferencing services) for a cut of the fees. Most require a college degree and teaching experience but for some those requirements may be negotiable.

The larger the company, the more requirements and prerequisites they likely have in place. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Even though you may need a newer computer, they may be offer health insurance and a full-time schedule. There’s always a trade-off. Know that more scheduling freedom and flexibility and less management oversight may mean lesser pay or no benefits.
Many work-from-home jobs that you find will require you to sit at your computer for long periods each day. So it’s super important that you have a comfortable space to work! Even if it’s just a comfortable chair pulled up to an old table that’s the right height, or a spot on your couch, put some thoughtfulness for your future self into your home office. Your body will thank you. (Oh, and make sure it’s in a quiet spot!)
If you’re the sort who takes apart the computer for fun, operating an electronics repair shop out of your home is a natural decision. In particular, repairing iPads and other tablets would provide you with a great deal of business, as many tablet users are looking for a less expensive way to fix smashed screens and other damages that can be costly through the manufacturer. Median salary: $49,170.
Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. While writing blog posts is well paid it won’t make you as much money as writing copy for sales pages. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.
Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple's most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 - $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it's realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that's willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
Your Idea. It’s not enough to say that you’re going to offer an exercise classes. The people considering your classes will want to know exactly what they are going to get for their money, and it will be up to you to explain it concisely and effectively. Understand that you’re basically giving a sales pitch to potential attendees. You’ll have to really narrow down your topic.

I’ve found that fear often stops aspiring consultants from starting a consulting business–or any business–and on my blog, I talk about how to overcome those fears. I also talk about practical, concrete things you can do to start and run a successful consulting business, along with tools, tips, tricks, and techniques for automating your business and keeping costs to a minimum. The info I give is applicable to most other types of businesses as well.
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.
Though certainly not for everyone, recycling the containers from products left strewn around on the ground can become a surprisingly decent side business idea if you put in the time. Attending events like street fairs and outdoor concerts can be a great starting place. Put on a clean shirt, jeans, apply your sunscreen, grab a cheap pick-up tool like this one, sturdy plastic bags, and you can sell them for upwards of $4.00/pound on eBay.
This isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time consuming, but it can be done. I started PT Money in 2007 and since then the site has grown considerably, now viewed more than 200,000 times per month. The key to blogging is to have a long-term goal of making extra money in mind. You can get started by reading my article on how to make money blogging.
What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you. And the best part is, the app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!
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