Start analyzing your decisions from the perspective of a firm. In economics, a firm's goal is simply to maximize profit. Well-run firms spend money only if they can expect to make more money from their investment, and they allocate their resources to the most profitable use. You're not a firm, of course, and you have other considerations, but if you make the majority of your time and money decisions by choosing the options that promise the highest return on investment, you'll likely earn more money, and that's good news for your shareholders (you and your family).
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With sites like ShopAtHome.com, eBates.com, and TopCashBack.com, you can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.

Home services home business ideas: Lawn, garden and yard care, bathtub reglazing, carpet cleaning, floor installation, green cleaning products distribution, home decorating, remodeling or restoration, house sitting, pet sitting, pool cleaning and maintenance, snow removal, window cleaning, auto repair and maintenance. Many people might grab your services if you're mechanically inclined and willing to go to their location to repair or maintain their vehicles. In many cases, you might be saving them the cost of a tow to a garage.
They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. Actually, when you consider that you pay taxes on every penny you earn, you really do make more money by saving than by increasing your income, especially if the extra income will increase your tax rate dramatically. For example, let's say you have a choice between saving $100 or earning an extra $100. If you pay 15% taxes, then when you earn an $100, you only get $85. But when you save $100 off of your existing budget, you keep it all. To sweeten the deal further, if you take advantage of compound interest as found in most savings accounts, over time you'll start making money on the amount saved plus previous interest paid on that amount saved. It'll be pennies at first, but eventually the amount will multiply exponentially.

Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn't stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
And freelance coder is an especially great one, since it’s already such a commonplace gig. Whether you want the flexibility of being your own boss, enjoy taking on a wide diversity of projects rather than working with a single company, or prefer to travel instead of staying in one place, you’ve got many reasons to pursue freelance software development—even though technology companies and startups offer their own perks as well.
Get-rich-quick schemes and fad weight-loss diets are naturally popular because they satisfy the id while also attending to the super-ego. The ego's job is complete when it sees something like this. The appeal of "fast'' stems from the innate desire for instant gratification, so beware of what seems too good to be true (they often are) when you're looking to make money quickly. Be wary. Listen to the conversation deep within the confines of your mind and do your best to tame the proverbial beasts.
Sell plasma. After passing an initial screening, you can usually sell your plasma for anywhere from $25 to $50 per donation. To qualify, you’ll have to stand in a long line or show up early, be willing to fill out a very personal questionnaire, and endure a painful needle prick or two. Still, selling plasma is a great way to raise money fast – if you can stand the hassle.
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you're leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.

I overheard my wife talking to a homeschool mom that raises and sells a certain type of dog (a registered breed of some kind) ranging from $1,000 to $1,800. I also know a couple teens that started a bread business where they sell the product at the local famer’s market and local stores. The product(s) have been so successful, most of the family has been involved in it.
Try affiliate marketing. This means promoting someone else’s products or services for pay without actually carrying an inventory. There are many ways of incorporating affiliate marketing into your website/blog/page including banner ads (which are generally ineffective, as people tend to avoid these), linked articles (which are quite successful when the article content is thoughtful and doesn’t appear spammy), and product-placement videos (which can be very successful when done by people with charisma or a good sense of humor). You can even become an affiliate marketer without a website. Basic ways of making money through of affiliate marketing include:
One way to get started might be to focus on children’s parities, which can be a bit simpler and less stressful to plan than adult get-togethers. Go further into specialization by following kid trends and offering superhero or Frozen parties. Remember that you’ll be competing not just with other party planners but with local restaurants and facilities, so excellent networking skills and a personal touch to your services will be important.
I surprisingly get a lot of people asking to detail their car. I never intend to make a business of it, but I love doing it to my cars and people ask me to do it to theirs. All it takes is a cheap orbital buffer (mines a used craftsman) and a shop vac. I normally get easily $100 for a basic wash/wax/vac, or $200 to remove scratches and polish then wax the car.
If I have a blog that is getting 100,000 page views a month that means that I’m probably getting at least 50,000 people to the site (most blogs will do between 1.2 to 1.4 pages per session). That means I have to try and get some small percentage of those people to buy something from me if I really want to do well. If I can’t get them to buy something then (in some cases) I have ads running on the site that will make me money anyways.
Channel your inner minimalist and get rid of all those dusty DVDs or CDs on your entertainment stand or in boxes under your bed. And make the whole process easier with Decluttr. You can scan the bar codes of items you don’t want anymore and see how much money the company will give you. Instead of waiting around for a buyer to maybe purchase your item, the company itself will buy your items outright. See ya later, Godzilla DVD. 
Are you an animal lover at heart? How about making some extra money just by taking a dog for a walk or boarding a cat for the weekend? You can advertise your own pet-sitting business on social media, put up signs throughout your neighborhood, or use a website like Rover. They let you set your schedule and adjust your fees as you see fit. If you do use Rover, keep in mind that they take a cut of what you make.(3)
If you’re currently an accountant, this might be as simple as letting your clients know that you work remotely now for reasons of convenience or perhaps hanging your own shingle out to start your own firm. On the other hand, if you’re looking to enter the industry (virtually or not), you should be aware of the training and certifications necessary.
To get started, first you'll need approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Required paperwork includes a business plan, a trial balance sheet and monthly projections of income and expenses. Registration fee: about $5,000, depending on the types of securities you deal with. If you haven't already bagged your broker's license, get ready to pass a series of exams, including the six-hour Series 7 Exam and perhaps the Series 63 or 66. One caveat: You can only take these exams after working for several months at a registered firm--and all of your employees must pass the same tests.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others.  If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.
Are you an animal lover at heart? How about making some extra money just by taking a dog for a walk or boarding a cat for the weekend? You can advertise your own pet-sitting business on social media, put up signs throughout your neighborhood, or use a website like Rover. They let you set your schedule and adjust your fees as you see fit. If you do use Rover, keep in mind that they take a cut of what you make.(3)
Great ideas! I’ve been thinking about starting a home-based business for years but I just never stopped long enough to actually start and I didn’t know what kind of business to pursue. Now I’m ready to get started and you gave me some really good ideas. I really appreciate the links to more information on how to get started in several of these business opportunities. I will definitely look into them.
EBay seems as ancient as a dinosaur in today’s fast-moving webiverse, but it’s still the top online auction marketplace, where users go to order collectibles, rare goods, and other items. Building a solid reputation on eBay can take some time, as most sales go to the power sellers who have established five-star ratings. Still, if you can acquire the goods no one else has, you can make a nice income reselling items on eBay.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we're growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my free master course on blogging will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.
Get paid to search the Web. Sites like Swagbucks.com and Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.

Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you'll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
The Ibotta app gives you cash back on the groceries you already buy. Some deals are brand specific, while others give you cash just for purchasing a certain type of item, like a loaf of bread from any brand. Choose your deals before you check out, then submit a picture of your receipt and get paid via Venmo, PayPal, or gift cards. Sign up with Ibotta to claim your $10 welcome bonus.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple's most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 - $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it's realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that's willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
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