Business Ideas You Can Start With Just a Few Hours a Week
It's possible to explore entrepreneurship and still keep your regular job.
Don’t let your 9-to-5 job get in the way of your dreams of starting a business. Whether you want to test the waters of entrepreneurship or carve a path to financial freedom, these business ideas can help get your juices and money flowing. What's more, you only have to devote a few hours a week to make it happen.
Let's get to work!
Get out of my dreams, get into my car
Your vehicle may hold the key to being your own boss in the on-demand economy.
Just as with ride-sharing companies, delivery service drivers can set their own schedules. With GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats, drivers bring food from local restaurants right to your doorstep. Amazon Flex contractors deliver packages. Postmates couriers can deliver everything from food to groceries by car, bicycle or on foot.
“You can turn on and off your availability through these networks with the simple click of a button, effectively allowing you to make money no matter what time of day or night it is,” said R.L. Adams, founder of Wanderlust Worker.
Related: 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle
One man's trash is another man's treasure
Make money selling your unwanted new or used items on websites like eBay, Amazon or Craigslist.
Murray Newlands, Entrepreneur contributor, business advisor and investor says an eBay business is a great way to declutter your house while making some spare cash. If you have the extra time, you can even do it professionally for others and collect a small commission for each sale.
”Aside from the fact that it enables you to work from virtually anywhere with an internet connection, an eBay business also allows you to choose your working hours."
A way with words
Freelance writing is one of the fastest and least expensive home-based businesses to start. Copyediting, proofreading and copywriting services are also in high demand.
Do you know what makes a good resume and cover letter in terms of format and content? Add a resume writing package to your menu of offerings.
In Laura Pennington Briggs' book Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business, she says it's possible to run a writing business with a busy schedule.
"You can probably find some time at night, on weekends, and in other pockets, such as when you have childcare. Once you know all the possible hours you have free, do your best to schedule your freelance writing activities for when you are most focused during those available hours."
If you know how to sing or play an instrument, capitalize on your talents and give music lessons.
If you have a good grounding in at least one subject, consider tutoring students. Virtual tutoring will allow you to teach using Facetime or Skype. The advantages of this business are that you can work part-time from home.
Entrepreneur contributor John Rampton shared how he taught math to neighborhood kids in the article 18 Ways I've Earned Rent Money When I Was Broke.
"You could either become a freelance teacher or look for a service that helps match you with clients. This is an opportunity to make some serious money, improve your teaching ability and help others. Do not underestimate all of the time you spent as a kid playing the piano or learning to do backflips."
Dogs are a man's best friend
Why not turn your love of dogs into a business?
Invest in multi-lead collars and leashes and walk three or more dogs at the same time. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to take out Fido and his friends.
You can also turn a dog's ‘business' into a business. While a pooper-scooper service isn’t the most glamorous idea, you don’t need special skills and you can start it with minimal investment. Visit the customers' homes or businesses every week to clean up. It should take approximately 10 minutes per visit.
Greg Waldorf, CEO of Invoice2go explains how the pet services industry has exploded in the past 10 years as more people get pets and spend big money on them.
"That money is going into things like dog walking, grooming and training services, which are all activities that in many ways were pioneered and developed by side-giggers."
I'll be there for you
Virtual assistants help entrepreneurs and small business owners with tasks that can be performed remotely like calendar management, scheduling, answering emails, research or posting content on social media.
Some assistants combine their remote-assistant skills with content creation services like graphic design or video production.
“A virtual assistant can be anywhere in the world, and are increasingly common because they are flexible and economical,” says Wendy Keller, CEO and founder of Keller Media. “Some virtual assistants sell their time in packets, such as 15 hours a week or 40 hours a month.”
A place for everything and everything in its place
Restore order in people's homes by offering your services as a professional organizer or residential home cleaner.
From removing clutter in a garage to creating a proper filing system, a professional organizer usually works by the hour.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, a cleaning business might be right for you.
As Kristen Hadeed told Entrepreneur, she founded Student Maid in 2009 when attending college. She was able to balance cleaning homes with her busy academic schedule.
Hadeed’s advice is to overestimate the amount of time it will take to clean and charge an hourly rate in case you encounter a large space.