Start a Side Hustle with These Small Business Ideas

Almost every aspect of life in the past two years has been largely dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. From mask-wearing and social distancing to new vaccines and health protocols in our stores, many parts of our lives will likely never be the same. The most dramatic change, however, is likely the evolution of the business world in the pandemic.

When the pandemic first struck, there was a labor panic around the globe, sending companies into a storm to come up with new solutions. The result? A boom in remote work, work-from-home opportunities, and a mass exodus from the physical office space that had housed the majority of the business world.

After the metaphorical dust settled from the initial pandemic fallout, the business world saw another dramatic change, as millions of workers voluntarily left their jobs, in what has been titled “The Great Resignation.”

So, what does all of this have to do with side hustles and small businesses?

For one thing, the last year has taught many of us that our dreams of self-employment and small business ideas aren’t that far from reality. Rather than being tied to the idea of a 9-5 job, people began to realize the number of opportunities in the business world that exist outside of an office building. This inspired more and more entrepreneurs to pursue independent work, freelance writing, and other small jobs to make money on the side, while still maintaining a traditional job.

After another month or so of exploration, many of these same people discovered that they could switch to their small-business idea entirely and leave their former full-time job! That’s not to say that everybody with a side hustle can quit their job, there’s plenty of hard work and challenges to overcome along the way. However, it does open up a world of possibilities to us all, including you!

In this article we put together a list of five straightforward and relatively simple side hustles that you could start today. These ideas are well-established, have seen many people succeed, and most importantly, none of them require a lot of money to get going! So, if you’re feeling stuck in your day job, or simply want to make a little extra money, keep reading!

1. Etsy

If you’re a lover of the arts or master crafter, starting an Etsy page could be your next great side hustle. Etsy is a virtual marketplace for people (like you) to buy and sell homemade crafts, goods, antiques, and works of art! The website is modeled after traditional craft fairs, with personal storefronts for creators to sell their work.

This side hustle can help you turn your hobbies and passions into an actual business, while still allowing you to work most other jobs. If you enjoy painting in your spare time, or you crochet while you watch TV, Etsy could be the newest way for you to make some extra cash.

How To Get Started:

One of the best aspects of Etsy is that it is free to start and open a shop! All you have to go through is a simple process of setting up an Etsy account, and pretty soon you’re off and running. However, Etsy isn’t totally free, as the website takes a small commission on every item you list and sell.

Costs to Consider:

It costs ($0.20) to list an item, and Etsy takes (5%) commission for each sale, plus an additional (3% + $0.25) as a payment processing fee. You won’t require much (if any) starting capital, but you should still be mindful of the costs going into your project.

2. Gig-Work

Recently, you’ve probably heard the term “gig economy” popping up in news stories and across social media. If you don’t already know, the term refers to the ever-increasing number of workers around the globe that are taking temporary or independently contracted jobs as a means of making money. That’s not to say that gig-work is a new concept, as temporary jobs, gigs, and contracted work have existed for a significant amount of time.

However, there has been a noticeable increase in the gig economy over the last 10 years (think Uber, Lyft, Fiverr, Upwork, etc.) and it’s unlikely to change very soon. The business world is always expanding, creating new jobs, niches, and demand for skills, and the gig economy takes full advantage of that fact. The biggest advantages of gig-work are the flexibility of schedule and a stronger guarantee of a secondary income!

How To Get Started:

Gig-work is an incredibly varied industry, including everything from traditional pet sitting and babysitting gigs, to more online business models like graphic design or freelance proofreading. Once you have a clear idea of the service you’re offering, you can start to consider your costs.

Some gigs, like dog walking, won’t cost very much to get started, as most dog walking jobs require very few materials. Other jobs, however, like delivery driving, can come with high gas prices, car maintenance, and other costs that can add up quickly.

Costs To Consider:

To get going in the gig economy, you’ll want to have all your financial bases covered, as it is still a less consistent form of income than a 9-5 or salaried job. In general, keep in mind the costs for equipment, marketing or advertising yourself, and any inventory that could be important to your business. Start with small trial runs, so you don’t spend too much money to get going. Once you get the ball rolling, you can start to make bigger investments in yourself.

3. Tutoring

Tutoring is one of the oldest side hustle ideas, and you can pick it up at practically any stage of your life, as there is always a market for tutors. If you’re in high school, tutoring is a fantastic way to put your know-how to good use, while practicing material that may still be applicable in your own life. For college graduates and beyond, your specialized knowledge and skill sets can have a genuinely high demand in the tutoring market, particularly if you can work in a niche subject. The more experience and unique knowledge you have on a subject, the more likely you are to succeed as a tutor.

Arguably the most enticing aspect of tutoring is the flexibility of your schedule. If you are working part-time or full-time, you can likely still pick up tutoring in your free time. Additionally, with the rise in video conferencing and remote work, there’s a good chance you can tutor remotely, adding another layer of flexibility to this side hustle.

How To Get Started:

In most cases, tutors work through any of the dozens of existing tutoring platforms out there to avoid the hassle that can come with self-marketing. You can apply to websites like Chegg or Tutor.com, where you can then select the subject(s) you are most confident in, and promote yourself within their established database. You can also begin your own small tutoring service, and advertise on LinkedIn and through local businesses.

Costs to Consider:

Tutoring is one of the best low-cost side business opportunities to adopt, as you are selling your time and knowledge, rather than physical goods or other services. If you have a working computer, you can start tutoring today if you felt like it! As far as making extra income goes, tutoring can be one of the simplest and most profitable business ideas to pursue.

4. Dropshipping

Dropshipping has become an enormous trend in recent years, so you may want to pause before entering the dropshipping industry, as competition will be proportionally higher than many other side hustle options. In simple terms, dropshipping is another way to shop for and sell products online, wherein you (the dropshipper) will buy niche products from manufacturers in bulk to sell on your site. However, all of the inventory, warehousing, and creation of the products is handled by a dropshipping partner, so you don’t have to!

You handle the digital marketing, online store, and any other eCommerce aspects of the business, while the manufacturers handle the products and shipping. It’s a relatively new idea, but it has certainly caught on, and with the right products, market, and a little bit of luck, dropshipping can potentially generate a lot of income.

How To Get Started:

Starting a dropshipping business can be surprisingly easy, especially if you have a solid idea of your product and advertising strategy, and you can find a manufacturer willing to work with you. Creating a website is easier than ever these days, even without any knowledge of coding or web design!

Costs to Consider:

Startup costs for dropshipping are typically pretty minimal, as you only need to buy as many products as you believe you can sell and pay for the website hosting! As with gig-work, start off small to get better estimates of what products will do well, and what products you might want to avoid. Depending on your products, and the cost of your site hosting, you can start dropshipping with around a $500 initial investment.

5. Social Media Management

Most of us spend at least some time on social media apps during the day. Originally, social media was almost entirely populated by individuals, but now, brands and companies are starting to claim social media space. Nowadays, pretty much any company with more than a few employees will have some level of social media presence.

Here’s where you come in! If you are someone who knows the ins and outs of social media, and if you have been using sites like these for a while, your knowledge is valuable. Often, companies want to create a social media presence but have very little experience in any form of social media. You can offer your services on a part-time basis, and simply get paid to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites!

How to Get Started:

This side hustle can require a little more legwork on your part, but one of the more creative ways to get yourself going is to look at your own business (where you currently work)! If you are working for a business without a social media presence, it could be worth your time to have a discussion with your boss about expanding your role. You don’t have to actually create another full-time position, but if you offer to do social media on a contract basis for your company, then you’re in a good place.

Costs To Consider:

There should be very few if any, initial costs to start managing social media. There are certain organizational programs and SEO apps that can help you stay on top of the various forms of social media you’ll use, but otherwise, the biggest costs to you will be the time and energy it takes to find a business in need of your services.

Getting Started with Biz2Credit

If any of these ideas are calling to you or have sparked an interest in beginning your own small business, congratulations! You just took your first step in an exciting process of creating your own job and navigating the business world in your own way. To help you get started, Biz2Credit can help you by providing the best funding options for every project, big or small. Since 2007 we have been one of the best resources for small businesses online, and with our help, you can finally make your dream of a small business a reality.

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