25 Part-Time Business Ideas
Ever dream of running a part-time business while keeping your day job? Want to operate a sideline business along with your current business? Or are you simply curious about entrepreneurship and hoping to test the waters before you commit to the world of commerce? You'll need a marketable skill or product, and if you're working 40 or more hours a week,you'll need to track your time properly. Here are 25 ways to get started with your own part-time business today.
Carla Goodman is a freelance business writer.
Make new money from old treasures and have fun doing it! Try scouting garage sales, estate auctions and flea markets for great buys on antique furniture, toys, clothing and other treasures from the past. Rent space at antique cooperatives, or set up booths at weekend fairs to sell your antiques.
Whether you're an expert at Windows or Linux, desktop publishing or web research, HTML or word processing, you can help anyone enhance their computer skills. Start promoting your computer-training services by teaching classes through organizations in your community which offer adult education courses.
Custom Jewelry and Accessories Designer
Put your creative talents to work designing custom jewelry and accessories. Whether you work with sterling silver or recycled metals, clay or papier-mâché, there's likely a market for your custom earrings, pins, bracelets, necklaces and belt buckles at art shows, craft fairs and holiday boutiques.
Espresso Cart Operator
Brew up profits day after day. Specialty coffee drinks generate gross profits of 55.1 percent to 61.5 percent per cup, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Brush up on your coffee drinks, buy or rent an espresso cart and head to sporting events, concerts and farmers' markets in your community.
Garage and Attic Cleaning/Hauling Service Owner
Almost nobody likes to spend a weekend cleaning out the garage, attic or garden shed -- it's dirty and time-consuming, and when it's done, there's still the task of hauling off all that discarded junk. But if you don't mind putting in the physical labor, a cleaning and hauling service can be a lot of fun. You can usually find a few treasures among the trash that most people are delighted to give away, and you can add to your income by recycling bottles, newspapers and metal castoffs. You'll need a pick-up truck or other vehicle capable of carrying everything from cast-iron sinks to old timbers.
If it's broke, you can fix it. Your phone could be ringing off the hook with calls from homeowners, senior citizens and others who don't want to fix items themselves. Advertise in shopper publications and on bulletin boards, and drop off fliers at real estate offices. Then start repairing everything from leaky faucets to broken windows.
Buyers need not beware when they hire a home inspector to conduct a complete physical checkup on their dream home. You'll inspect the house for structural problems and refer your clients to the contractors or handymen who can make the repairs. Knowledge of construction and your local building codes can help get your business off the ground.
Work as an important member of a medical team without leaving your home-based office. There's big demand by hospitals, doctors, dentists, chiropractors and veterinarians who need outside help transcribing patient medical records. Training in medical terminology and linguistic skills will keep your business healthy.
Mobile Home-Entertainment Service Owner
When it's dirty, disconnected or in need of repair, you'll save the day for homeowners who want their stereo, CD player or video cassette recorder in working order. Brush up on your electrical and wiring know-how. Door-to-door fliers and calls to retail-store managers about your services will get your business off to a great start.
Mobile Window Tinter
With some training and basic equipment, you could be seeing plenty of green with your mobile window-tinting business. For best results, have a pager and van ready to help car, van and truck owners prevent heat damage to their vehicles' interiors. Other hot markets: homes, high-rise condominiums and office buildings.
Office and Home Organizer
Attention all neatniks: Help packrats, overworked executives and other organizationally challenged individuals clean out messy closets, straighten files and throw out the excess clutter. Putting your knack for neatness to part-time business use could arrange some tidy profits.
Freelance Personal Chef
What's for dinner? Great home-cooked meals for working parents and busy professionals who hire you as a personal chef. There's plenty of demand for this specialized service. So plan your menu, make shopping list and satisfy your hungry clientele.
Pumping iron could mean pumping profits. Americans of all ages, sizes and shapes want to keep fit, trim and healthy, and they're willing to hire their own personal coaches to help them exercise correctly. Spread the word about your physical fitness expertise at health spas, athletic clubs and other outlets.
Get in the frame with a picture framing service. You can work with gallery owners, artists, portrait photographers and individuals who've purchased a print, painting or fine photo. If you aren't already a framing expert, read up, take classes at a local college or community center and assemble your tools -- including clamps, saws, miter boxes, glue and a pneumatic or hand stapler. Establish relationships with local artists' groups, galleries, photographers and print shops that can give you their business or refer their customers to you.
Plant Leasing and Maintenance Service Owner
Got a green thumb and a delivery van? You're all set to service corporations, home builders, health clubs and other businesses who want fresh greenery. Develop a steady clientele with a regular watering, pruning and fertilizing program and a full replacement guarantee.
Using specialized databases, you'll search public records on your computer to help your clients find lost loves, check out questionable suitors, track down debtors, verify contractors' track records or dig up facts on a business opportunity. Clients include attorneys, business owners and individuals.
Restaurant Delivery Service Driver
Whether it's macaroni and cheese or a five-course gourmet meal, at-home meal replacement is fast becoming the newest way to dine. When customers want their restaurant orders "to go," you'll be "on the go" with your restaurant delivery service. This could be a great way to make your late afternoons and weekends extra-profitable.
If you're an artist in search of a medium, why not make T-shirts your canvas? Paint, draw, bead or appliqué your designs onto plain T-shirts, and spend your weekends showcasing your art-to-wear at farmers' markets and craft fairs.
Help residential and commercial clients turn drab walls into works of art with your wallpaper-hanging skills. Build a growing business with great referrals and repeat customers. Drop off fliers at paint and wallpaper stores, or advertise via shopper publications, homeowner's association newsletters and bulletin boards at local supermarkets and malls.
Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor
In today's hectic, fast-paced world, parents, business owners and students alike can benefit from the deep-breathing, relaxation and centering techniques you can teach them. Get started by offering classes at health clubs, through your city's recreation and parks department or on your own.