Best side business ideas (what you can do part-time)

Viable side business ideas

Many people who want to start a side business tend to get stuck on one thing: the idea. Without a good idea jumping out at them, most aspiring entrepreneurs feel like they have a barrier preventing them from starting to win elsewhere. To get that problem out of the way, we’ve compiled this list of viable side business ideas. This can help you come up with a great short list of side business ideas that you can start testing right away.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way to sell online is through affiliate marketing. In this business model, you sell the products of other businesses, promote them and earn a commission when you make a sale.

Commissions for most products tend to be small, although higher-end products may give higher commissions. To increase your profits, you will have to sell more volume. Since your success depends on your ability to promote, affiliate marketing is ideal for people who are already very skilled at online marketing.

Freelancing – Side Business Ideas

Side business ideas

If selling products isn’t your thing, maybe you can package your skills as freelance services. As a freelancer, you will need to find clients who will pay you for the work you produce. Here are some services you can provide:

  • Design. This may include a design for graphics, websites, or print. You can custom design everything, or take advantage of website templates and graphic resources to make designs for your clients.
  • Writing. You can write articles, blog posts, ebooks, and official documents. You can also provide the option to write anonymously for those clients who want to put their knowledge and experiences into words but have a hard time. You can also consider becoming a copywriter, who specializes in writing sales copy, such as that found in brochures, advertisements, or sales letters.
  • Photography. If you are interested in photography, you can choose to be a freelance photographer. Choose a niche to specialize in such as weddings, pets, school functions, commercial and product photography, or portraiture. This may have startup costs included, especially if you don’t already have a professional camera.

Consulting – Secondary Business Ideas

If you already have some business experience or training, you can offer your services as a consultant. Your clients will be paying you not only for your advice but for your direct help in achieving a goal.

Career consultant

As a career consultant, you will be assisting people with problems related to their work. This may include finding a job, planning a career path, enhancing your resume, and helping them negotiate better compensation.

Business consultant

Unlike career consultants who work with individuals, a business consultant works with organizations. You can specialize in marketing, strategy, IT, leadership, recruiting, or finance. If becoming a business consultant aligns with your skills and interests, you can check out this quick tour to learn how to get started.

Teaching – Side Business Ideas

Another quick way to gain from your experience is by directly teaching others. As a small side business, teaching can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s a great way to capitalize on existing skills without investing too much money. Here are some ways you can secondary teach.

Online tutoring

If academics is your thing, becoming an online tutor might be right for you. You can teach students who struggle in subjects in which you excel. Common subjects for tutoring are mathematics, physics, chemistry, and languages.

If you excelled on professional exams like law entrance exams, specialty exams, or medical licensing exams, you can be a prep tutor for those too. Since you would be teaching skills you already have, you can start right away and focus on finding students.

Online courses

Instead of teaching one on one, you can sell courses that serve many people at once. This is a more scalable approach than one-on-one teaching, as you can sell the same materials to a large number of people. These courses can be live or on demand. You can provide course materials in a variety of formats, including audio, video, or written modules. You can teach anything, including art, writing, programming, business, and even sports.

Depending on the length of the course, you may need to spend some time in the beginning to produce the materials. Additionally, you may need to purchase extra tools such as audio and video hosting or a course platform for your students to have access to. Alternatively, you can use sites like Udemy or Skillshare. If you major in design or programming,

Business coaching

Similar to business consulting, business coaching is about leveraging the business knowledge you already have. The only difference between the two is that for business coaching, you are filling an advisory role to a specific individual in the field. If you want to see if business coaching is right for your side business, learn more about it in this tutorial.

Platforms – Side Business Ideas

While not directly a business idea, having your own platform–like a blog or podcast–can help you market your products and services to more people. Also, if you have a large enough audience, you can sell advertising space. Affiliate marketing also works well as an additional income stream for a blog or podcast.

While having a popular platform can give you a lot of opportunities, it takes a lot of hard work to get there. You may be spending months working on a blog or podcast and not see any income for some time. For those who already have considerable marketing experience, building an audience and generating income from it will be much easier.


If you are a good writer, you can consider setting up a blog. You can also sell advertising space in some areas of your blog, such as the sidebar, header, and footer. You can sell space directly by contacting existing businesses or by using a service like Google AdSense, which automatically matches advertisers with advertisers.


There are a lot of hefty upfront costs that come with podcasting, as you’ll need a good quality microphone and possibly recording and editing software. You will also need to learn the basics of audio editing and recording. But if you already have the equipment and have a bit of audio recording experience, you can easily create your own podcast. If you’re interested in selling ad space, you can record ads that play at the beginning, middle, or end of your episodes.

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