25 Side Business Ideas (for 2024)

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 8 months ago
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Group of enthusiastic business owners with cityscape in background

Are you wondering how to make money on the side? We have 25 good side business ideas for your extra time.

We spend thousands of hours annually interviewing small business owners to learn the recipes they used to start and grow a business. We’ve put together a list of businesses to work on the side. Get ready to find a business idea you can start.

Good ideas for side business entrepreneurs are available in every field. You’ll want to consider various ideas for making extra money before choosing one. Check out some of the good business ideas below.

Keep reading for ideas on how to make extra money on the side.

5 Top Side Business Ideas with Low Startup Costs

All revenue figures are using IBIS World data by taking the industry revenue divided by the estimated businesses. Your performance will vary based on the time and business strategies you use. 

Entrepreneur holding cash

#1. Cleaning Business

Average Annual Revenue: $74K+
Average Profit Margins: 6.7%
Startup Costs: $500-$30K
Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
Best for: Self-motivated, independent, and detail-oriented entrepreneurs

Have about $1,000 saved up? Look no further than a cleaning side hustle. When it comes to success rate and ease of getting started with no experience, it blows most side hustles out of the water. The best part is that how much you make and how much time you spend are completely up to you.

Only have a couple of hours on the weekend? Book some gigs and make an extra income. Made your weekend money and feel ready to turn cleaning into a business you work on and not in? Do what our friend Chris Mondragon did…

He went from earning $6,053 in his first month as a cleaning business owner to over $1.5M in annual revenue. Chris made a free masterclass that takes you through everything you need to get started. We recommend giving it a watch before starting your cleaning side hustle.

Check out our interview with Chris below:

#2. Lawn Care or Landscaping Business

Average Annual Revenue: $272K+
Average Profit Margins: 8.7%
Startup Costs: $2K-$10K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 8.1
Best for: Designers, gardeners, people who like physical work and working outside

A landscaping business is among the best “on the side” business ideas that you can start with almost no money. Trevor Kokenge invested $300 to start Plan-It Vision and runs it out of a small shed (hear how he did it in this interview).

Granted, Trevor has a degree in landscape architecture, but you don’t need this training to make good money in lawn care. All it takes is some basic equipment, an eye for detail, strong communication skills, and a willingness to work hard. 

Since landscaping tends to be a seasonal business, this is also an ideal side hustle idea for those who have more time in the summers, like students or teachers looking to start a side business.

#3. Freelance Web Design

Designer with laptop

Average Annual Revenue: $239K+
Average Profit Margins: 5.3%
Startup Cost: $100-$1K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.4%
Best for: Designers, programmers, or anyone with website-building skills

As a freelance website designer or developer, you can work on your own schedule and only take the jobs that you have time for. Because of this, it’s a top side business idea for people with design or coding skills who have full-time jobs.

The trickiest part of starting a web design business is often landing your first few clients. Maintaining your own website to show your skills can help build customer trust. 

Since you can work from home and don’t need expensive equipment, web design is a low-cost business idea. You also don’t need coding skills to start this side hustle if you’re skilled at using platforms like WordPress or Wix.

If you want to make more money, you can scale your side hustle into a very lucrative business by taking on more clients and projects, or even hiring a team to grow your business into an agency.

Check out this video by Flux Academy. They have a ton of videos about web design.

#4. Handyman Business 

Average Annual Revenue: $204K+
Average Profit Margins: 5.4%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.7%
Best for: Fixers and repair experts, entrepreneurs who like working with their hands

A handyman takes care of the repairs and odd jobs that their customers don’t have the time or skills to do themselves. Since you’re not doing full construction, you don’t need a license to start your own business (until you make over $600)—just be handy.

That said, you can charge more if you do have training in plumbing or electrical systems, so it’s a great side business idea for construction workers and skilled tradesmen.

Being a handyman proved a very profitable business idea for Caleb Ingraham. He started North Seattle Handyman when he realized the niche market with high demand. See how he got started:

In five years, Caleb has scaled his business to $25,000 a month, working six days a week. This is a side business idea with big growth potential. If you want to make money on the side, you can keep a smaller client list and work just a few hours a week.

#5. Mobile Car Wash or Car Detailing

Average Annual Revenue: $73K+
Average Profit Margins: 16.1%
Startup Cost: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.0%
Best for: Car enthusiasts, detail-oriented entrepreneurs, and those who enjoy working with their hands

Mobile detailing is a popular side business to earn extra cash because it hits the sweet spot of high demand and has a low barrier to entry. Making your business mobile is convenient for customers and cuts down on overhead costs. 

Mobile detailing small business owners can set their own schedules. That said, most customers will want the service in the evenings and on weekends when their cars aren’t in use. This is perfect for someone with a 9-to-5 day job who wants a side income.

Kevin Lieu sold insurance before he started his mobile detailing side hustle. Now detailing is his main job, earning him upward of $10,000 every month. 

This is a very lucrative business with a lot of growth potential. You can hear how Kevin started with just $500 in this interview:

Keep reading to find other ideas about how to make money on the side.

5 Lucrative Side Hustles to Make Extra Money

#6. Dropshipping

Average Annual Revenue: $36K-$50K
Average Profit Margins: 5%
Startup Cost: $150-$500
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 25%
Best for: Those with marketing and eCommerce skills

Dropshipping is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to earn money with an online business. In this business model, you create and online store and market products to customers, and someone else takes care of storing, managing, and shipping inventory.

A dropshipping business is one of the top side hustle ideas for people with a large online or social media presence and strong marketing skills. 

The most difficult part of starting a new business is connecting with customers, and it’s a fast way to earn money if you can do that well. 

Heather Johnson started her dropshipping business as a side hustle when her hours were cut during the pandemic. She grew her side business while working a day job in healthcare, and it now brings in more than $15,000 a month in revenue.

#7. Consulting Business

Restaurant consultant Ryan Gromfin

Average Annual Revenue: $363K
Average Profit Margins: 6.4%
Startup Costs: $100K-$3.5M
Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 2.2%
Best for: Teachers and educators, people with niche expertise and experience

Consulting is among the best side job ideas for marketers, leadership experts, or anyone with in-demand skills and knowledge who wants to make extra income. 

As a consultant, you help other entrepreneurs or existing businesses streamline their operations, increase their revenue, or otherwise improve their systems and processes. 

Starting a side business as a consultant can help you advance your career path in your full-time job, too. Establish yourself as an expert at the same time as you’re making money on the side. 

Of course, consulting can also be a lucrative business on its own.

Ryan Gromfin makes $35,000 a month as a restaurant consultant. His business idea lets him make money from his expertise in food service without the stress and long hours of managing restaurants. Hear how he started in this podcast interview:

Success as a small business that offers consulting starts by identifying your niche market. Among the most profitable consulting side hustles are recruiting and hiring, social media and marketing, leadership and management, IT and technology, and business strategy. Read our guide on business consulting to learn more.

#8. Vending Machine Business

Average Annual Revenue: $182K+
Average Profit Margins: 4.3%
Startup Cost: $2K-$10K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.5%
Best for: Those who like to tinker with machines and understand mechanics and those who enjoy driving

Many side hustles demand almost as much energy as a second full-time job. If you’re looking for the type of side hustle where you can put in concentrated effort now and reap the rewards, passively, for years to come, a vending business is it.

If done right, you set up your machine once and let it run itself, just a few hours of maintenance a month required. One of our guests, Adam Hill, has done just that. He’s pulling in six figures working two days a week.

Intrigued? We were, too! We pestered Adam until he agreed to spill the beans and take us behind the scenes of his vending machine empire. The best part? UpFlip readers get FREE access to his vending masterclass.

You can hear Adam’s story in this interview:

#9. Personal Trainer

Average Annual Revenue: $16K+
Average Profit Margins: 10.9%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.6%
Best for: Fitness buffs, exercise experts, people who excel at motivating others

If you spend most of your free time at the gym, personal training is among the best side business ideas to start. A personal trainer helps other people meet their fitness goals with guided exercise, diet advice, and other wellness insights. 

There are many ways to start a side hustle as a personal trainer. You can work with people in their homes, reserve space in a gym or community center, or make it an online business with YouTube videos or Zoom sessions.

The low costs to start and high demand make personal training the right side business idea for exercise enthusiasts who want to be their own bosses. 

You can also tailor your services to your interests by choosing a niche market like senior fitness, mommy and baby exercise, or weight loss. 

Fitness training can be a very lucrative business. Just ask Bedros Keuilian, whose Fit Body Boot Camp is a key part of his $200-million-a-year empire:

#10. Food Truck

Average Annual Revenue: $41,040
Average Profit Margins: 6.4%
Startup Cost: $1K-$100K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.2%
Best for: Foodies, chefs, cooks, bakers, and other food service veterans

For food experts seeking profitable side business ideas, food trucks are one of the best ways to make money on the side. 

Unlike a brick-and-mortar restaurant, you don’t need to maintain consistent hours. Instead, you can open the truck when it’s most likely to make money and meet customers where they are. 

Now, a food truck does have higher upfront costs than other side hustle ideas, and while you can run it from home, you will need somewhere to park it. 

It’s still significantly cheaper than starting a cafe or restaurant, though, and is a top side business for those who want to break into the food industry.

Kyle Gourlie started the Vet Chef in 2016 and, by 2020, was making more than $400,000 a year, so this is another side business idea you can take full-time if you want to grow. You can hear Kyle’s story in this interview:

5 Small Side Business Ideas

#11. Photography Business

Average Annual Revenue: $50K
Average Profit Margins: 7.3%
Startup Costs: $1K-$10K
Time To Revenue: 1-6 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.3%
Best for: Visual artists and photographers, outgoing and social entrepreneurs

A successful wedding photography business can be very lucrative, and it’s just one great side business idea for those with photography skills. 

See how Korbin and Whitney Korzan started their business, Mile High Productions, which has worked with big-name clients like the HGTV show House Hunters.

Other photography business ideas include a portrait studio or collaborating with other local businesses to take marketing and promotional photos. 

Photographer Katelyn James set out to make $24,000 a month and has now scaled to more than $2 million every year. You can hear how she did it in this podcast:

 #12. Tutoring and Test Prep

TutorMe home page screenshot

Average Annual Revenue: $18K+
Average Profit Margins: 13.10%
Startup Cost: $100-$1K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 8.5%
Best for: Teachers, educators, professors, and tutors

Tutoring is among the easiest small businesses to start because all you need is knowledge or expertise in a given subject area. Keep your client list small to make extra cash or scale into a full-time job by starting an independent tutoring agency.

You can expand your side business income and build your authority with an online course, so there are many ways to make money as a tutor. There are also lots of online marketplaces to find students, including TutorMe, Skooli, and Wyzant.

#13. Event Planning or Wedding Planning Business

Average Annual Revenue: $93K+
Average Profit Margins: 13.8%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: -0.90%
Best for: Strong networkers, great party planners, outgoing and social entrepreneurs

A wedding planning business is among the best small business ideas if you want to make money using your logistics and communication skills. You’ll need those skills to get started, though having connections with other local businesses can help you grow your side business faster.

Check out the event planning business video by Elevate Experiences below.

#14. Dog Walking Business

Average Annual Revenue: $34K+
Average Profit Margins: 16%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
Best for: Pet owners, animal lovers, those who like working outdoors

Dog owners and pet lovers can turn their passion into a side business for extra cash by walking people’s dogs while they’re at work or on vacation. 

This can be an especially good small business idea for people who live in urban areas and can maximize their revenue by walking multiple dogs at once.

Check out our blog on pet care businesses if you’re interested in this business or the next one.

#15. Pet Sitting Business

Average Annual Revenue: $34K+
Average Profit Margins: 16%
Startup Costs: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.7%
Best for: Pet owners, animal lovers, those who like working outdoors

Similar to dog walking, a side business as a pet sitter lets you make money for hanging out with animals, and you can even offer both services to make extra cash.

Both dog walking and pet sitting are in the same NAICS code, so business owners will see similar profit margins.

Pet sitters feed and care for animals while their owners are away, usually in the owner’s home. 

While some jobs may ask you to stay with the animal for multiple hours per day, you can often do other things while you’re there, making it ideal for students or freelancers looking to make extra cash on the side

5 Second Income Ideas: Good Ways to Make Money on the Side

#16. Sell Products Online

Average Annual Revenue: $60K-$120K
Average Profit Margins: 5-15%
Startup Cost: $100-$10K
Time To Revenue: 30-90 days
Annual Market Growth Rate: -9.3%
Best for: Thrifters, collectors, hobbyists and craftsmen

Opening your own online store is a great way to start a side business selling products without the expense or time commitment of a storefront.

If you’re creative or crafty, you can sell things you make yourself. That’s what Jazmin Richards did when she started Blk Sunflower, and she made $300,000 in 18 months selling handmade candles:

If you’d rather buy things than make them, you can sell products you find for cheap in thrift stores or on Facebook Marketplace. Mike Wilson makes upward of $30,000 a month reselling on eBay. Hear how he got started in this podcast interview:

#17. Be a Virtual Assistant 

Average Annual Revenue: $35K-$50K
Average Profit Margins: 10.5%
Startup Costs: $100-$200
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.9%
Best for: Outgoing and social entrepreneurs, those with strong scheduling, time management, and problem-solving skills

A virtual assistant takes care of necessary administrative tasks for busy professionals. This can include things like making travel plans and dinner reservations, replying to emails, or managing their social media channels.

If being a virtual assistant sounds like the side business idea for you, you can find work on freelancer platforms like Upwork or 24/7 Virtual Assistant.

#18. Freelance Writing or Editing

Freelancewriting.com home page

Average Annual Revenue: $46K
Average Profit Margins: 14.6%
Startup Cost: $100-$200
Time To Revenue: 1 month to 3 years
Annual Market Growth Rate: -1.5%
Best for: Creative entrepreneurs with strong communication skills

Writing and editing work is often independent work, meaning you can make extra cash in your free time on your own schedule.

There’s also a wide variety of work you can write or edit, from social media and blog posts to news and magazine articles, advertising copy, or novels and short stories. Writers and editors with niche skills and knowledge can also get work like technical or medical writing and editing.

You can find writing and editing jobs on freelancer platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or the Freelance Writing job board, just to name a few options.

#19. Be a Delivery or Rideshare Driver

Average Annual Revenue: $131K
Average Profit Margins: 3.6%
Startup Cost: $100-$9.5K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 6.7%
Best for: Drivers, those who like to socialize

If you like meeting new people, being a rideshare driver through Uber or Lyft is a fun way to earn extra cash. More introverted folks can deliver food or groceries instead through platforms like Uber Eats or DoorDash.

The flexibility of delivery and rideshare driving is great, too. Some people do it as their full-time job, but when and how often you work is completely up to you.

#20. Be an Airbnb Host

Average Annual Revenue: $201K
Average Profit Margins: 8.1%
Startup Cost: $1K-$3.5M
Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 2.2%
Best for: Homeowners, frequent travelers, people with hospitality experience

If you have a spare room in your home or are often away from home for business or vacations, you can turn that space into a side business by listing it on Airbnb. 

Where you live will affect how much you can make with this side business idea. You can charge more if you live near a tourist attraction or in an urban area that gets lots of visitors. 

Check out how Sid and Eva started their business, Nicasa, which grew to 22 properties that generate a lucrative revenue of $400,000 a month.

5 Passive Extra Income Ideas

#21. Make and Sell Online Courses

Average Annual Revenue: $234K+
Average Profit Margins: 5.8%
Startup Cost: $100-$1K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.1%
Best for: People with niche or in-demand skills and expertise

You don’t need technical knowledge to make and sell online courses, thanks to platforms like Kajabi and Udemy. All you need to start this side business idea is knowledge or skills others want to learn.

Online courses do take some time and effort to make. Once they’re launched, though, they’re great ways to make side money without an ongoing time commitment.

You don’t need to be an expert in your subject area, either. Jacques Hopkins played piano as a hobby before starting his online course, Piano in 21 Days, and now it brings in almost $500,000 a year. Hear more from Jacques in this interview:

#22. Affiliate Marketing

Average Annual Revenue: $60K-$160K
Average Profit Margins: 8%
Startup Cost: $100-$2K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 10.5%
Best for: Bloggers, YouTubers, those with a large social media presence

With affiliate marketing, you promote products or services and get a commission each time someone buys through your platforms. You don’t need your own online store—just a way to reach potential customers. 

If you have a large social media or online presence, affiliate marketing is among the best side business ideas for making extra money with a minimal time investment. You can hear how Matt Diggity started a $400,000-a-month affiliate marketing business in this podcast interview:

#23. Be a Landlord or Property Manager 

Average Annual Revenue: $372K+
Average Profit Margins: 10.1%
Startup Cost: $100K-$3.5M
Time To Revenue: 6-18 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 1.3%
Best for: Those who are interested in real estate investing, home repair, and home maintenance

People will always need places to live, and local businesses need storefronts. If you own property, you can make extra money renting it out to people who need it.

Getting the property is often the hardest part of starting a side business as a landlord. Thach Nguyen has a winning formula he used to start his own business in real estate from scratch, and you can hear it in this interview:

Emma Powell’s real estate side hustle started when her family moved. She was a real estate photographer but realized real estate investing is a better supplemental income. 

Within 18 months, Powell Ventures acquired almost 100 units and gave Emma more time to homeschool her kids. The company now has over 400 units and is approaching 100% passive income.

#24. Print-on-Demand (POD) eCommerce Store

Print on demand t shirt

Average Annual Revenue: $1.6M
Average Profit Margins: 4.3%
Startup Cost: $500-$250K
Time To Revenue: 3+ months
Annual Market Growth Rate: -5.6%
Best for: Visual artists and graphic designers, people with strong marketing skills

There’s a big market for customized products, and you can tap into that when you start a side business as a print-on-demand online store.

While you will need your own website or eCommerce storefront, you don’t need to worry about inventory or shipping, making this a top home business idea, too. 

A POD store is easy to manage alongside a day job. Ryan Hogue had two jobs when he started his Amazon POD store. He shares his Ryan’s Method passive income plan in this podcast interview:

#25. Sell Domain Names

Domain name search

Average Annual Revenue: $1.5M
Average Profit Margins: 4.5%
Startup Cost: $500-$5K
Time To Revenue: 1-3 months
Annual Market Growth Rate: 3.4%
Best for: Analytical entrepreneurs, data and internet experts, smart investors

This is another side hustle that’s easy to work around a day job. It’s similar to real estate investing but in the digital realm. You buy domain names at a low price then resell them for a profit to people or businesses that want them. 

While you can definitely make extra cash selling domain names, that profit isn’t necessarily consistent. Understanding keywords and what makes a domain name valuable can help you to maximize your revenue. 

You can also make money from the websites while you own them. Ron Stefanski makes an average of $30,000 a month from the seven sites he owns. You can hear his advice for growing website traffic and revenue in this podcast interview:

Come Up With Your Own Business Idea

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to make extra money. You just have to consider the time requirements and startup costs, then take the steps to make it happen.

Did we help you figure out how to make more money on the side? Which business idea are you considering?

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