5 Home-Based Businesses You Can Start Almost Immediately
While it’s necessary to put a lot of thought and preparation into a startup before you launch, there are other ways to make some extra income that don’t initially require as much planning. Side hustles have become a popular subject over the past few years and with good reason. A side hustle can instantly boost your income and many of them can be set up in almost no time.
But before I get into the list of my favorite 5 side hustles, I need to clarify something. A side hustle can easily turn into a full-time business, and if your plan is to grow one into something long term, I highly recommend that once it starts producing significant income, you take a step back and begin planning for long-term growth. I’ll cover that topic on a blog post in the near future.
But for now, let’s talk about 5 ways you can quickly build cash by opening one of these easy to start businesses.
1. Teach English Online
This is one of the easiest ways to open a business because, if you’re a native English speaker, you already have the most important skill you need to become a success. People from all over the world want to learn English, and they are willing to pay native English speakers to teach them how to do it.
While you don’t need ESL accreditation to begin, you’ll be able to charge students a higher price if you decide to get it in the future. The average rate for English lessons is $20 an hour, and you are free to set up as many lessons as you want. Some people earn thousands per month as an English tutor.
Typically, the site will charge a percentage of your fee—usually around 15 percent—so there are no start-up costs associated with this business. All you need to begin is a computer, a free Skype account and a pair of headphones.
2. Hold a Popup Event
If your passion is in retail but you don’t have the excessive funds necessary to start a successful retail business, consider a popup event. While setting up the event may take a week or longer, the payout can be enormous.
You’ve probably heard about popup stores, which took the nation by storm a few years ago. They were mostly used by online store owners who wanted to allow consumers to touch and feel their products in an effort to gain new customers for their online store. The industry has since grown to an $8 billion a year market.
But popup stores have transitioned into something even more exciting: popup events.
Rather than looking for retail space or empty art gallery to show their wares, many entrepreneurs have gotten creative and are now holding events that lure in new customers—and these popup entrepreneurs are raking in the dough.
For example, one popup superstar sold her jewelry at a men’s happy hour on Valentine’s Day. The club didn’t charge her anything for selling her wares because she brought a chocolate vendor and a flower vendor with her and it all enhanced the club’s atmosphere.
Another inventive popup business owner built a large Christmas tree large enough to walk in and sold his Christmas related products in it.
Popup events can be held in hotels, homes, other stores, bars or restaurants, alleyways, or anyplace else where there is enough traffic to get noticed. And if you hold the event in another business, they may not even charge you rent because all the activity will benefit their own business.
Most successful popup events provide food, drinks, and even music to keep the customers engaged.
I’m so excited about the prospects for this type of side hustle that I’m writing a very detailed article about it, which I’ll post soon. Be sure to sign up to receive future blog posts by email.
3. Start a Food Business
Foodies are everywhere, and let me tell you, they spend a lot of money on unique foods, and food-related experiences. If you love to cook, you have many options to turn that passion into a money-making venture. I talk about this in-depth in my book, How to Start a Home-Based Food Business: Turn Your Foodie Love into Serious Cash, but let me give you an overview of just how easy (and fun) it is to quickly turn your love of cooking into serious income.
· Sell baked goods, canned foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, or any number of other food products at local farmer’s markets, retail stores, online, or any place else where you state allows you to. (Each state has different rules.) One of my reader’s told me she’s making $5,000 a month selling king cakes in New Orleans.
· Start a catering business. You don’t have to start out on a large-scale basis. Start by catering a friend’s party, or place an ad on Craigslist and start slow. You can make serious money by catering if you have the talent and style to display the food attractively.
· Sign up at EatWith.com. This site matches foodies with local home cooks for food experiences. You plan a food event, such as an authentic Indian meal or sushi and sake party, and local foodies sign up to attend.
The beauty of a food business is that it doesn’t have to be a full-time venture. You can sell at farmer’s markets only on the weekends, cater only when you need to bring in some extra income, or host a foodie event once every few months.
4. Start a Laundry Service
If you’re looking to start a quick business that takes virtually no planning or startup costs, think about a laundry service. This is a great business idea because everyone who lives in your city or town is a potential customer.
Think about it—everyone has to do laundry and virtually no one has the time to do it.
A laundry service picks up soiled laundry and then delivers it clean and neatly folded the same or the next day. The customers who use these services don’t have to drive to a laundry mat or stand around waiting for their clothes to dry so they can run their errands.
Laundry services typically charge between $1 and $3 a pound, depending on the city, and the average person dirties 25 to 30 pounds of laundry every 2 weeks. That means a busy, married mom of 2 could generate 60 pounds of laundry a week, or $90 a week in income for you if you charged $1.50 a pound. Now, multiply that by 10 clients and you can see how this easy operation could result in a decent amount of extra income.
Use Craigslist, flyers, or local FaceBook groups to get the word out about your business. You could literally have your first client within the hour with this easy-to-start type of business.
5. Offer Local Business Consulting Services
Finally, if you have any skills that would be useful to local business owners, you could start a business consulting service to help them with their most pressing issues. Some of the services you could offer are tech expertise, marketing strategy, email writing services, graphic art design, business plan development, the formation of focus groups, or display expertise for retail stores.
Small business owners wear many hats, and they often turn to experts for help when they need something done that’s out of their wheelhouse. If you have small business experience and skills, this is an excellent way to start a side hustle quickly that could easily turn into a full-time gig.
Business consultants typically charge by the hour and the rates vary greatly depending on the skill and experience offered. The key is to charge what your time is worth and what the market you live in will bear.
You’ll likely need to do some cold-calling to land your first clients, and you can do that by sending an attention getting and effective email or by picking up the phone and calling the owner in person. Soon after, you’ll have a meeting where you’ll tout your experience and have a chance to sell them on the ways you can make their lives easier and their business run more smoothly.
Those are my current top 5 side hustle startup ideas. What about you? Have you started a side hustle and are seeing success with it? Tell me about it in the comments!