Starting your own business doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact most businesses simply began as a hobby or part-time venture for their owners. You can simply start the business as a sole trader before advancing to company formation if you start to generate enough income to make it a full time job. Even if you have no intention of making that switch, there is value in exercising your entrepreneurial instincts and a lot of transferable skills which can be gained by running even the smallest of businesses. Here are just a few suggestions of simple side-line businesses which you could potentially start to fit with your interests and skills.
Everyone has a computer these days, but not everybody has the IT skills or knowledge to deal with any issues which arise when it doesn’t work quite as expected. If you are good with computers then you should make your services available as an IT expert – begin with friends and family then broaden your customer base and advertise your services online.
If you have some skills as a writer then it can be a great way to earn a little bit of extra cash on the side and can grow into a long term business. Many businesses have the need for written content – for both the sales copy of their website and for their blogs – but simply don’t have the time to write it themselves. You can offer your skills for writing this content, or even just editing and proofreading their existing content.
If you’re good in the kitchen, this can be a great way to ease yourself into the lifestyle of running a business – and has proven very successful for a number of entrepreneurs. You can begin by selling your creations to friends and neighbours before branching out to local craft fairs and markets or selling online. The startup costs are low enough for ingredients and such – you just need to get the word out there to generate some business.
There’s a reason why this business has survived for so many years, when other simple business models have been transformed by advances in technology and changing lifestyles – people just hate washing windows. If you don’t mind getting up on a ladder with a bucket of water and a sponge then you can earn a decent bit of cash from other people’s lack of motivation for this household chore.
This is one which may take a while to get going, but could be good for both earning some cash and engaging your local community. Start a newsletter which details upcoming events and relevant news for the area, and once you have a good local circulation you can begin selling advertising space to local businesses. All you need for this is a computer, printer and time to research what should be included in your newsletter.
Start an ironing service
Everyone hates ironing and there a great number of people who pay to have it done for them, and others who would happily do so if they could find an affordable enough service which suited their needs. If you don’t mind doing a lot of ironing then this is a small business which will never struggle to find customers.
Offer social media services
Many small businesses want to get involved in social media activities but don’t have the means to do so. So if you know your Twitter from your Tumblr then you could offer these services to some businesses in your local area. This is convenient work as it can be done from home, with just the occasional meeting, and such online skills are always in demand as the internet becomes an increasingly important marketing tool.
There is always demand for tutors to help high school kids improve their grades. Did you earn a degree in a certain subject which might be useful – or do you have some practical work experience which gives you expertise in a relevant field? You can charge a very reasonable rate for an hour of tuition and help a young student improve their future opportunities.
Business cleaning services
Many businesses have property which requires professional office cleaning outwith standard office hours. If you can spare a few hours on evenings or weekends, and don’t mind cleaning, this can be a simple way to earn a little bit extra money.
With so many streams of communication available in this modern age, there are many business people who cannot afford to be switched on all the time. The constant phone calls and emails coming in can stop them working – so many hire virtual assistants who can respond to emails and take phone messages for them as well as co-ordinating their calendar for meetings etc. A great option for those who prefer to work from home.