101 Businesses That Will Make You an Extra $500 Next Month
Tired of your 9-to-5? Here are some ideas to add to your income.
Are you tired of the 9-to-5 grind? Do you just want to get out of debt? Do you want to start putting money away for your retirement or dream vacation?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then it’s time that you started side hustling. It may sound too difficult for you, but it’s not as bad as you may believe. You can actually start a side business almost immediately. And, most of the time, this new venture has a low-cost to enter.
Don’t trust me? Here are 101 businesses that meet that criteria and can put an additional $500 in your bank account by next month.
More than 53 million Americans have given-up the 9-to-5 daily grind to become freelancers. Freelancer can work from wherever they like and set their own schedules, so it’s a great choice for anyone looking to make a couple of extra hundred bucks a month.
1. User experience design
This is one of the fastest growing freelance jobs and involves designing products that are easy-to-use and enhances the user experience for website and and app users. The average national salary is a sold $87,883!
2. Graphic designer
Graphic designers develop logos, websites and visual advertisements for their clients. Full-time graphic designers can make around $45,000-$79,000 annually starting out depending on where they live. Here is a our guide to becoming a graphics designer.
One of the most popular freelancing gigs is writing. Whether if it’s for a blog post or advertising copy or writing legal documents, writers can make anywhere between $10 to $100 per hour.
4. ASP developer
There’s a demand for developers who can edit and customize web pages using the Active Server Pages. The reason? It runs parallel with HTML5.
5. Webpage developer
Every business is expected to have a website these days. That’s why they’re willing to hire people to build sales pages, landing pages and other web designs to improve the bottom line. Even if you don’t have mad coding skills, you can still offer this service if you have some marketing skills and an eye for detail.
6. Social media marketer
Like websites, brands are expected to have a presence on social media. Social media marketers are the people in charge of launching a social media campaign. They can make around $46,000 annually.
Photography is another popular freelancing gig. Just make sure that you have your niche down first. This could be a wedding photography, taking pictures of products or even snapping property for realtors. Here is our guide to becoming a photographer.
There’s a growing demand for freelancers who can draw illustrations for commercials, infographics or logos. They can earn about $35 per hour.
9. Video editor
As more and more brands look to create video content, there’s a need for editors to fix errors and add video or audio content. Full-time editors can make more than $60,000 annually.
10. Voice actor
Do you have a “golden” voice? If so, you can earn between $56 to $72 per hour doing voice work for ads, games, e-learning or audiobooks.
11. App developer
Developing apps for mobile devices is a booming business where full-time developers make around $85,000 a year!
12. Virtual assistant
Virtual assistants handle everything from organizing emails, managing social media and blog posts, making travel arrangements and scheduling. These remote workers can charge up to $50-$75/hour.
Proofreaders just review written documents to make sure that there aren’t any spelling, grammatical or typographical errors.
14. Audio transcribing
You’re sent an audio file by a company. You then listen to the file, type it-out and send the document back to the company. Talented transcriber can easily make $500 a month.
15. Data mining
There’s been a lot of talk about big data. But, most people and companies don’t have the time to discuss this information. That’s where you come-in and analyze the data so that you can notice any trends. Full-time date miners can make a salary of about $60,000 annually.
As a consultant you use your existing experience or skills to help businesses solve one of the following problems.
16. Human resources
HR involves tasks like scouting, hiring and training talent. Today, HR also oversees organizational leaders and handles strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions.
17. Public relations
The main responsibility of PR consultants is to control what people think about a person, business, or products. They also manage damage control when a mistake, like an executive sending out an inappropriate tweet.
Information Technology consultants recommend hardware and software and troubleshoot any issues when a system crashes.
Marketing consultants develop strategies to help businesses promote, sell and distribute their goods or services. Here is our guide to becoming a better consultant.
These types of consultants cover a wide arrange of areas like advisors who can help businesses and individual with financial advice like how to balance their books, establish a budget or suggest investment opportunities. There are also tax accountants who notify you of the latest regulations and which deductions you can claim.
In short, a legal consultant provides advice on how a client can identify, avoid and solve any legal matters like ownership of intellectual property, real estate or employee contracts.
22. Business systems and performance improvement
These consultants guide businesses in implementing business systems and handling conversion and integration, or repair any existing issues.
23. Internet security
Security is a major concern for businesses, so the security of computers, for both businesses or individuals, pays around $51 per hour.
Have you ever launched a startup? Or, at least been a part of an early start-up team, then share your experiences and knowledge, like how to be lean and make a pitch to investors and how to be lean. I’ve found that most startup founders (after their first year) on average pay themselves around $54 per hour.
With an increasing amount of pressure for people and organizations to be more environmentally-friendly, these consultants provide advice on how to become, well, more “green.”
26. Personal chef
Are you known for your delicious, home-cooked meals? People who don’t have the time, or skills, will gladly pay you to cook for them.
Similar to being a personal chef, catering allows you to still show off your culinary skills, but instead of cooking daily meals for a client, you just focus on one or two events during the weekend.
If you’re an excellent baker, then you can start selling your baked goods to your friends, neighbors, online or at local farmer’s markets and bazaars.
Whether if it’s drawing caricatures at fairs or local parks, painting portraits that a client will display in their office, or selling your pieces online, this is another hobby that can earn you some extra income.
30. Musical tutor
Regardless of the instrument, there is definitely a market for people wanting to learn how to play a musical instrument. You can do this in your home or even start a subscription-based website.
31. YouTube personality
Believe it or not, creating and publishing videos on YouTube has made a lot people millionaires. With video content at an all-time high, there’s no reason why you couldn’t take a piece of this pie.
If you make handmade wooden crafts for fun then start selling on Etsy or your local farmer’s market.
33. Knit or crochet
Another popular handmade market is for knitted items like blankets, shawls, and clothing. Again, Etsy is a great place to start selling these items.
34. Jewelry maker
Besides Etsy, local spas, resorts and hair salons all want to sell handmade jewelry because it’s currently in high-demand.
A lot of us want to preserve and be able to present moment for our lives, but we simply don’t have the time or creativity to do so. That’s why scrapbookers is another profitable hobby in today’s world.
36. Farmer or gardener
Do you have a green thumb? Or, love taking care of livestock? Then you can start selling plants, produce, eggs and meat to customers who want either local or organic goods.
37. Light mechanic work
You probably don’t have a large enough garage, or the equipment, to put in a new engine. But, if you do have mechanical skills, then you can offer light mechanical work, like oil changes and changing belts.
38. Mobile computer repair
If you’re able to repair computers, then this definitely an excellent side business since we all own some sort of computer these days. To stand out, however, launch a mobile computer repair business so that you go to your customers.
39. Athletic scout/sports rep
Are you a sports fanatic? Then about catching the next superstar or represent a local athlete? There may be some traveling involved, but you can do a bulk of your work, like making phone calls and watching videos, at home.
40. Event planner
If you’re the type of organized person who enjoys planning parties, then this is an obvious business for you to start.
41. Travel agent
Even though there is no-shortage of bargain travel site, people don’t have the patience to compare them all. So, why not do that for them based on your love and experience of traveling.
Here is a list of business ideas that involve selling an actual product.
42. Sell used items
People have been making a profit by selling their junk on eBay and Craigslist for years. Go through your home and start getting rid of the stuff you don’t need. When you run out, then start buying other people’s stuff and reselling it.
43. Drop shipping
With drop shipping you still sell items online. However, it’s for a manufacturer. This means you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping the items. The manufacturer does all of that for you.
44. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you plug a business or product on your blog or website. They’ll give you a special URL code so that whenever a visitor clicks on that link you’ll get a commission.
45. Direct salesperson
Whether it’s hosting an Avon, Pampered Chef or Tupperware party, this model has been a popular option for years for anyone wanting to make some extra cash.
46. Flip freebies
Go to the free section of Craigslist and see what’s in your neighborhood. Loading up a pickup full of scrap metal means that you can go directly to the scrapyard and have cash in your hands today.
47. Sell kits or baskets
People enjoy ready-made kits or baskets, specifically when it appeals to a niche, such as a housewarming gift or for new parents. You can sell these online or locally.
48. Operate vending machines
Someone has to replenish this vending machines. But, you can stand-out by offering healthier options on-top of chips and candy.
49. Sell information products online
If you’re knowledgeable in a specific area then you can profit of that by selling an eBook, launching a subscription service, or creating video tutorials.
50. Part-time realtor
The real-estate industry is experiencing some growth, so becoming part-time real-estate agent can be a nice supplemental income until you’re ready to go full-time.
Home, health and personal services
This batch of business opportunities focus on areas like home improvement, healthcare and performing tasks for others.
51. Cutting lawns
Even if the homeowner enjoys mowing their yard, they may not have the time to keep up with it. Cutting a couple of your neighbors yards could quickly add-up and potentially become a full-time when word spreads.
52. Seasonal yard clean-ups
Weeding flowerbeds, trimming hedges, raking or blowing leaves and cleaning out other debris like fallen branches is time-consuming. And, some people physically can’t do this type of work. You can easily make $100 per yard.
53. Cleaning gutters
If you’re not afraid of heights, this is another job where you can charge at least $100 to remove debris from gutters.
54. Snow removal
This is another task that some people either don’t enjoy or can’t do so because of their health. The only problem is that it relies on the weather.
Not everyone enjoys spending their weekend painting the interior of their house. There’s no reason why you couldn’t make at least $100 or more per room.
56. Home cleaning
Like many of the chores already listed, people don’t have the time, desire or health to clean their houses as much as they would like. It’s another low-cost business to start that can end-up being profitable.
There are people who travel frequently, sometimes for months at-a-time. To ensure that nothing happens to their home they hire a house sitter through Craigslist or sites like Mind-a-Home.
Sometimes you don’t even need to stay there full-time. I have a friend who lives in a beach resort town year-round and she went around checking on homes and businesses that were vacated for the season to make sure that there wasn’t any damage. She made enough money where she didn’t have to work that winter.
This is no longer a job for teenagers. There are a lot of people who either need babysitters for when they’re at work or when they have dinner plans on a Saturday night. A couple of gigs can quickly make you $500 in a month. And, maybe you can eventually start you’re own day care after securing enough clients, and obtaining the right permits.
59. Pet care
We love our pets. And, that’s why the pet industry is making billions of dollars each year. You can make money in this area too by either watching pets when their owners go on vacation, walking them when people are at work, or even starting your own grooming business.
60. Interior decorating
For those who want to have a swanky and well-organized home, but don’t have the eye, they’ll contact an interior decorator to do it for them. If this is something that you excel at, I would start collecting ideas and building your portfolio now. And, you don’t have to stick with residential homes. Office also hire interior decorators.
61. Setting up holiday decorations
As with many of the other suggestions in this collection, setting-up holiday decorations is a task that not everyone can attend to. In fact, it’s not uncommon to charge a homeowner a $100/per hour for putting-up Halloween or Christmas decorations.
62. Mortgage/debt-reduction service
Homeowners will gladly hire you for your knowledge if you can reduce their mortgage payments or debt by providing them alternative payment options and setting-up a budget for them.
63. Local field inspector
Independent field inspectors don’t require formal training and simply survey properties. They also have to fill-out some basic forms and snap a few pictures. Doing this for about 12 hours per week could earn you a fast $500.
64. Home inspection
If you’ve worked in construction and the proper certification, then you can inspect homes or office buildings to make sure that they’re up to code so that they’re ready to be inhabited.
65. Home-entertainment installation
Have you ever watched a novice try to hook-up their home-entertainment systems? It’s actually very amusing. But, if you have no problem installing and connecting these gadgets, then it’s an interesting opportunity.
66. Moving furniture
How many times have you gone to Ikea or moved across town and didn’t have the truck to move this furniture? It happens frequently. If you have a large enough vehicle, and some muscle, then moving furniture from location to another can become a profitable business.
You don’t have to go to cosmetology school, but you do actually have to have a knack for cutting and styling hair. If you do, then this is a business you can start right now in your home.
68. Patient advocate
If you’re knowledgeable about the complicated world of health care, then you can become a patient advocate who helps patients navigate through these process after they’ve had a hospital visit.
69. Process medical claims
Staying in the medical field, you can help people properly file their medical claims so that their insurance company is billed in a timely manner.
70. Senior care
Senior care is projected to become a major industry as more and more people get older. Senior care services could be anything from driving people to doctor’s appointments, keeping them company, cleaning their homes or cooking for them.
71. Personal trainer
If you enjoy working out, and want to motivate others to get healthy, then you can become a personal trainer after getting your certification.
72. Personal shopper
You can even go shopping for the people who can’t stand the grocery store or just don’t have the extra time.
73. Delivering pet/baby food and supplies
Have you lugged around a bag of dog food or ran out of diapers in the middle of the night. Both situations can be frustrating? That’s why people wouldn’t hesitate for someone else to deliver food and supplies for their pets and children.
74. Running errands or doing odd jobs
Whether if it’s driving someone to the airport, picking-up their dry cleaning or doing odd jobs for them, like light electrical or plumbing work, then you can make a comfortable living by starting your own business or joining sites like TaskRabbit.
Here is a list of services that you can provide local business owners.
75. Referral service/office relocation
This is essentially a “welcome wagon” for business owners who just arrived in town. You can get paid by referring them to local vendors, consultants and other local business owners.
This is another similar service that you can provide to new arrivals by pointing them in the right direction of a new office building and the local business owners they should be acquainted with, like the equipment repair company.
76. Packing and unpacking
You can make moving just a bit less hectic for a business by either packing or packing their belongings and equipment.
77. Window washing
Dirty windows don’t make a great first impression for potential clients. But, they can be difficult to clean. Which is why businesses pay for this service.
78. Miniblind cleaning
Another item that is difficult to clean are mini blinds. These also get extremely dirty and dusty, which is never good for an office environment. You can charge an organization to clean their blinds by simply dipping them in a gentle cleansing solution.
Businesses of all sizes need to keep organized financial records. Unfortunately, that’s not always a priority. Even though there is awesome bookkeeping software, they still need a set of eyes to kap tabs on any suspicious activity and prepared for tax-season.
80. Business travel management
Most businesses have to do some traveling. You can make that a bit easier, and cheaper, for them by booking cheap airline tickets and lodging, keeping travel receipts and managing rewards like frequent flier miles.
81. Power washing
Driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, the sides of office buildings and vehicles all get dirty after a while. If you have a power washer, you can clean these for business owners so that they always make a solid first impression.
82. Plant maintenance
It’s been proven that plants make people more productive. No wonder offices are filled with them. But, these plants often get neglected. You can offer a plant maintenance service where you water, fertilize, prune and move plants to larger pots.
83. Limousine service
Business owners want to impress their potential high-profile clients. That’s why they have a limo waiting for them at the airport when the client arrives. All you need is a limo, insurance and some marketing to get started with your own limo service.
84. Restaurant delivery
Employees don’t have enough time to leave the office to pick up their lunch. That’s why a delivery service that picks up food from any restaurant in town is a thriving business.
The longer that invoice go unpaid, the less likely they’ll be paid. Instead of businesses chasing those bills, they’d rather hire you to do the legwork for them.
86. Language translation
Since we live in a global economy, there’s a chance that business owners will have deals with foreign customers and clients. But, what if there is a language barrier? If you’re fluent in another language then you can help this business overcome that barrier.
87. Seminar preparation
Organizations love to sponsor or host seminars or industry events. But, this takes a lot of planning to pull-off. You can book the speakers, venue, caterers and promote the event for them in exchange for a hefty profit.
88. Public speaking/coaching
It’s not uncommon for businesses to bring-in outside experts to educate and motivate their employees. If you’re charismatic, and are an expert in your field, you make a comfortable living going in this route.
89. Apartment prepping
It’s not uncommon for businesses to own apartments. The reason? They’re either used for consultants who are temporarily in town or for employees who just moved into town and haven’t found their own place yet. You can prepare these apartments by doing some light maintenance, like painting and cleaning, so that apartment is ready to be inhabited.
You can pretty much rent anything out. Such as…
90. Your home
Whether if it’s Airbnb, renting out a spare room to a boarder or hosting a foreign student, there are multiple ways for you to profit from your home each month.
91. Storage space
If you have a space that is perfect for storing belongings, such as a basement, attic, shed or trailer then storing others to place their stuff there.
Mechanics and car aficionados are constantly on the hunt for an affordable garage. If your’s is unoccupied, then this is an easy way to pocket a couple of hundred bucks.
93. Parking space/driveway
If you have a parking space, or live near an arena or stadium, then you can park somewhere else whenever there are big events going and rent the space out to desperate commuters.
95. Yard equipment, tools, personal items, furniture
New homeowners may not have the tools to do yard work or basic home repairs. You can rent out these items, like shovels or drills, to these people whenever they need them.
You can even rent out home items, like kitchenware or televisions, to people who are entertaining guests and need these items for just this one-occasion. You can even rent out your clothing.
Also, regardless if it’s a couch or outdoor furniture, these items are expensive and some folks may prefer to rent them out instead of making such a large investment.
96. Party equipment
Everything from photo booths to inflatable moon-bounces to tables and chairs can be rented out to people who are hosting a birthday party, wedding or family reunion.
97. Your time
Through sites like Rent A Friend you can actually be rented out to be someone’s friend.
Finally, if you’re good with numbers and like taking risks, you can start investing money.
98. Exchange traded fund
This is a combination of an index mutual fund and a stock fund. They’re simple, low-cost and perfect for more conservative investors.
99. Dividend paying stocks
This is investing in companies with a good and consistent track record, so it’s perfect for those looking for a passive income.
100. Peer-to-peer lending
With companies like Lending Tree and Prosper, you lend money directly to people requesting a loan. You make interest on the loan, so this is another safe and profitable investment opportunity.
101. Penny stocks
Penny stocks aren’t expensive, but they can make a decent profit for aggressive traders.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
These Co-Founders Are Using 'Quiet Confidence' to Flip the Script on Cutthroat Startup Culture and Make Their Mark on a $46 Billion Industry
My 7-Year-Old Daughter Started Selling Eggs. Here's What She Taught Me About Running a Startup.
Why You Need to Become an Inclusive Leader (and How to Do It)
Career Transitions You Can Make in Your 40s and 50s
Billionaire Naveen Jain Is an Expert at Disrupting Fields He Has No Experience In. His Secret Sauce for Building Multi-Million Dollar Companies? 'You Have to Come as Naive.'
4 Principles to Develop Next-Level Leadership at Your Company
This Filipino American Founder Is Disrupting the Beverage Aisle by Introducing New Flavors to the Crowded Bubbly Water Market