Get Something on the Side
When Laura Jones, a life coach, and her husband, a ballroom dance instructor and studio manager in Southampton, PA, couldn’t find a natural deodorant that worked as well as the commercial ones, they developed their own. Realizing others were likely seeking the same thing, the couple started Arborstead, an Etsy shop where they sell all-natural, homemade deodorants, lip balms, baby powders, and wood polish. After two mere months in business and no promotional efforts, the couple’s income from their product sales had already climbed to an additional $100 each month through online sales and at a nearby farmer’s market. Incredibly, they anticipate that by the end of this year, their revenue will reach up to a thousand dollars per month—on top of any earnings from other jobs!
Establishing a side gig is an extraordinary way to generate supplemental income, diversify your sources of revenue and take control of how much you make. It’s also surprisingly simple! “All it really takes is to find a problem you’d like to solve and teach yourself how to solve it,” Jones says. Besides creativity, those wishing to make an income on the side must have self-assurance, determination, and “lots of energy”. Julie Austin – a serial entrepreneur who provides courses in creating one’s job – attests to this fact. “If you pick something you really love to do anyway, it’ll never feel like work and will actually energize you.”
Here are six promising side gigs that offer easy entry and the possibility of significant extra cash.
Start an Etsy Store
If you’re an artist or artisan, Etsy is the place for you. It’s a well-known marketplace that connects creatives with eager customers. I’ve personally bought personalized Christmas stockings and hand-painted letters for my kids’ rooms from there – but it doesn’t stop at just artsy items! You also have the option to sell vintage goods, craft supplies, handmade clothes & shoes, stationery products such as cards and envelopes; even curtains, bedding items like sheets and pillows; frames; furniture pieces…the possibilities are endless! Heck – I’ve even heard of people selling homemade deodorant on Etsy (like the Jones family). If you create unique wares using your creative flair then head over to this online haven now – success awaits!
“If you have any hobby, you can create a product that connects to it and sell it on Etsy,” says Estee Cohen. By training Spanish-speaking housekeepers for her friends, Cohen had the idea to create Maid Easier magnets. These communication tools help housekeepers and employers understand each other better – an advantageous feature that soon caught on with buyers everywhere! Just after posting her product online, she sold 40 magnet sets at $10 apiece in a few days.
To thrive on Etsy, it is imperative to garner glowing customer reviews, Cohen says. “Each one you sell, encourage people to write a positive feedback,” she says. “The best thing you can do is communicate with customers and deliver on time. Word gets around if people are unhappy.”
Become a Photographer
Last fall, we decided to take some family photographs and the result was amazing! We contacted a woman who works at a local doctor’s office during the day but moonlights as an incredible photographer on her own family’s farm. Her services come with lower overhead costs than most studio photographers since she is based from home, yet still earns a steady side income from her work.
Jenna Bechtholt, who began her journey in photography in 2012, stresses the importance of dedicating time to “understanding the fundamentals behind photography” if you wish to start your own business. “If you really want to make money as a photographer, you can’t just pick up a random camera with any lens and shoot portraits in automatic mode.” At the bare minimum, Bechtholt suggests having a dependable camera body, several lenses, and knowledge of manual mode to ensure success in photography.
To get the necessary experience and training, Bechtholt proposes working for free (initially) under other more established photographers as an assistant or second shooter. “This is a rare opportunity to watch other photographers in action,” she says. “You are able to see the techniques they use and begin to understand a bit more about how to work with clients.” Perfection is achieved through practice and repetition. “You can read all you want online, but if you don’t get out and practice you will never improve,” she says.
As a side-gig photographer, you can generate excellent profits. For example, Bechtholt began by shooting engagements and family photos at the rate of $125 per shoot. Now she’s charging an impressive $300 for portrait sessions! With your creativity and passion as a photographer, there is no limit to how much money you could make. “If you are really hustling, you can do up to four shoots a weekend, two mornings and two late afternoons,” she says. “During the summer months, when sunset is in the late evening, you can book clients during the week for evening shoots.”
Start a Food Business
Unleash your culinary passion and make money by cooking! Many states have a cottage food law that permits the preparation of meals from home. Mimi Shotland Fix, author of “Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business” encourages aspiring home cooks to explore their state’s regulations for insight on what foods are approved for sale. Generally speaking, items such as brownies, cookies, or granola that do not require refrigeration are permitted under most laws. Jumpstart your venture now and cook up some delicious treats in the comfort of your kitchen – it couldn’t be more simple! For example, by leveraging Fix’s guidance and insight, Kitchen Blessings Baking Company, Banana Moon Baking Company, and Blue Ribbon Hearth have been able to get off the ground. These businesses specialize in homemade cookies, bread, and scones that are available at local farmer’s markets as well as restaurants and stores.
Your income potential with a home-based food business is contingent on the local market, your competition, skillset, time investment, and “most importantly, the ability to price products correctly,” Fix says. Before getting started, she proposes crafting a business plan, calculating startup costs, comprehending how to price products, and designing a marketing strategy. “The business part of making and selling food is not always easy and not that much fun, but if you want to succeed it has to be done,” she says. “To just start baking and selling without a plan is a recipe for disaster.”
If you’d rather not bake or sell, why not try creating whole meals and hosting dinners in your home? Nowadays there are tons of digital marketplaces to support such activities, like Cookening and EatWith.
Do you adore animals? Pet sitting and dog walking provides profitable side gigs that can be both enjoyable and rewarding. Austin knows multiple individuals who earn extra money as dog walkers, two of which were able to make a comfortable living from their new profession after being laid off from full-time jobs – without having to fall back into the same job market! “One of them now makes over six figures a year and has two employees,” Austin says.
If you are looking for short-term pet work, dog sitting may be the ideal option. Austin’s friend pays a sitter $100 per day to stay at her house with her pup while she is away. However, if you’d prefer to remain in your own abode, there are multiple online marketplaces specifically made for pet sitters such as Rover and DogVacay that let you “host” animals in your home during their owners’ vacation periods.
Become a Coach
If you’re looking for a lucrative side hustle, look no further than becoming a coach or consultant! There are countless coaching positions available such as success coaches, life coaches, retirement coaches, career advisors, and transition experts. With the right skill set and dedication to your craft you can make good money helping others reach their goals – so why not give it a try? There are various programs offered, such as The Coaches Training Institute and the Institute for Life Coach Training, that provide training to those interested in pursuing a career in coaching. However, since the industry is still unregulated it leaves the opportunity for virtually anyone to enter this profession — yet this might be shifting soon due to efforts from prominent individuals within the field who desire certification become obligatory before one can undertake coaching practice according to Lisa Orrell (also known as The Promote U Guru).
Regardless if certified or not, “you need to have experience related to the industry or people you want to coach,” Orrell says. “If you want to be an executive coach, you should have been a corporate executive in your career so you can relate to your clients. If you want to be a business coach, you should have owned your own business, or run a business, of any type, for a significant period of time.”
Coaches virtually offer meetings to their clients, so they can help people from any location and also provide additional support with emails in between sessions. This way of scheduling provides coaches an opportunity for a profitable side hustle while working full-time during the day.
Austin, an extremely successful serial entrepreneur who also provides coaching services to entrepreneurs and inventors as well as sponsorship guidance for speakers and artists, initially offered her expertise free of charge until she gained the confidence to start charging. “I got comfortable enough with my abilities that I felt it was time to ask for compensation, “until I got to the point that I could start charging for it,” Austin asserts. “Then I started asking for testimonials from the people I helped. The next thing I did was go straight to the people I could help, like LinkedIn groups for inventors and social media. Eventually, word of mouth took over.”
Teach What You Know
According to Austin, we can all be experts in something. If you have knowledge that others are willing to pay for, think about hosting live and online courses, workshops, or seminars on the subject. When it comes to living classes, collaborate with a local university’s learning program or extension office. Online video courses present huge profits – they’re available around the clock and require minimal effort on your part besides collecting payments!
SkillShare and Skillfeed provide platforms where you can upload your video courses to sell. On SkillShare, there are plenty of categories, including advertising, business, design, fashion, film & television, and food & drink. photography publishing technology and writing. Meanwhile, on Skillfeed you will find primarily instruction in career-building skills such as Web design programming or photography; furthermore, they pay monthly via PayPal for the lessons taught by instructors!