From Etsy Shops to Online Tutoring: 14 Part-Time Businesses for Any Skill Set

Looking for a way to supplement your income? Starting a part-time business might be just what you need.

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Syndicated from The Penny Hoarder

Starting a part-time business or side hustle is a great way to supplement your income, pursue a passion or simply test the waters of entrepreneurship. 

With the rise of the gig economy and various online platforms, starting a part-time business has never been easier. 

Here’s how to get started.

14 ideas for part-time businesses

If you’re looking for ways to earn extra cash, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

In this article, we'll explore some popular part-time businesses and how you can make money from each one.

1. Freelancing

Have a talent for writing, editing, graphic design, website development or social media management? You can use freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr to find clients and work from anywhere. 

Freelancing is a popular side hustle that lets you put your skill set to work and provide services to clients on a project-by-project basis. 

Keep in mind that starting a freelance business requires you to manage your own workload and handle administrative tasks like invoicing and calculating your taxes. You also may want to open a checking account separate from your personal one to avoid mingling your money.

Pro tip: Want to take your freelancing business to the next level? This is what you need to know about setting up a business entity as a freelancer.

2. Virtual Assistant

If you’re a highly organized person in search of a work-from-home side business, you may want to look into becoming a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant is someone who provides administrative or technical support to clients remotely. 

On average, a virtual assistant can earn about $20 an hour to handle tasks like managing email, scheduling appointments, social media management, data entry and customer support. 

You can look for people or companies hiring virtual assistants on these gig sites: 

You could also build a simple business website and promote your services on LinkedIn and at local networking events to find potential clients.

3. Blogging

There’s a few ways to make money from blogging, including advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsored content. 

Free or low-cost blog hosting sites like Wordpress, Wix and Squarespace make it easy to get started. 

However, creating and monetizing a blog can be very time-consuming. You need to consistently write high-quality posts and market your blog to build a following.

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Ecommerce shops and brick-and-mortar stores alike need user-friendly, fast-loading websites to drive business. But you’ve seen plenty of shoddy websites in your time, and you know a clunky website can cause customers to click away from your site and onto a competitor’s in no time flat.

So how do you ensure your website stands out and steers customers to your doors? First, you match with the right small business website builder for your needs. To that end, consider a few things when deciding on a site builder:

  • Features. Do you need your website to drive foot traffic, sell products online, or let clients schedule appointments? Whatever you need, make sure the website builder you choose can provide it. (For instance, not all website platforms emphasize ecommerce. If you sell products online, you absolutely need an ecommerce-friendly builder.)
  • Price. If your shop makes most of its money online, it’s worth paying a little extra to ensure your customers have the best possible online experience. When choosing a plan, make sure to weigh your budget against the importance of your website to your business.
  • Ease of use. Website builders should make your life easier, not harder. Look for a website maker that parallels your level of knowledge about site building—you don’t want to sink hours and days into learning to create a beautiful website. That’s what the builder is for.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to build a site and what to look for in a site builder, check out these articles first:

4. Consulting

Consultants are often paid hourly or on a project basis for their expertise in a particular area.

If you have a depth of knowledge on an industry, you’re already halfway to a new side hustle as a consultant.

But starting a consulting business requires more than just expertise. You also need to market yourself and effectively communicate your recommendations to clients.

5. Crafts, jewelry and art

Side hustlers are a naturally creative bunch, so it comes as no surprise that selling homemade jewelry, original art and other handicrafts made this list. 

You could sell your wares at local markets and craft shows, through your own website, or on a marketplace like Shopify or Etsy.

Pro tip: If you’re ready to start profiting from your handmade art online, here’s how to sell on Etsy.

6. Pet sitter

If you love animals, becoming a pet sitter can be a great way to earn some extra cash. 

Pet sitting can take place in your home or the client’s home, either as quick visits or overnight stays. You can make anywhere from $10 to $40 an hour, depending on where you live and the services you offer. 

To find clients, you can advertise your services on websites like Rover, Wag or Care.com. These sites let you set your own rates, message directly with potential customers and customize your profile.

7. Selling on Amazon and eBay

Retail giants Amazon and eBay rely on customers to help source their inventory, and some side hustlers report earning $500 a month or more finding items on clearance locally and re-selling them through Amazon.

One option is Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA. You store your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and the company picks, packs and ships your products — which can help you scale your business and reach more customers.

A lot of vintage items can sell for big bucks on websites like eBay, too. Try your hand at stamps, collectible books, coins, action figures, sports memorabilia or dishes.

Keep in mind that you typically need to manage your inventory and handle customer inquiries to succeed at this side gig.

8. Software and app development

If you have programming skills, software and app development can be a lucrative side hustle. 

To build your own software application or smartphone app, you’ll either need some technical know-how or some outsourcing fortitude — on top of a good idea. 

To find clients, you can advertise your services on websites like Upwork or Freelancer. You can also create your own website to showcase your skills and attract potential clients. 

Pro tip: Love working from home? These are our best home business ideas.

9. Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists are people who transcribe audio or video recordings into text. You’ll need stellar listening skills and an excellent command of the English language to land transcription jobs. 

To get started, you can create a profile on websites like TranscribeMe or Rev

Beginners who do general online transcription may only earn about $10 an hour. But your earning potential increases as you gain experience and enter into higher-paid specialties, such as medical or legal transcription. 

Pro tip: Check out these expert tips for running a business from home.

10. Online Tutor

Tutoring online can be a nice side gig for current or former teachers. Even college students who have great subject matter mastery and some teaching skills can earn cash from this side business. 

To start landing gigs, check out these sites to find online tutoring jobs:

Each site has its own requirements and payment schedule, so make sure you understand the details before getting started. 

11. Personal Tutor

Living a healthy life is a near-universal goal, so tapping into that massive market could be a lucrative side hustle.

To get started as a personal trainer, you'll need to get certified from a reputable organization, such as the American Council on Exercise

Once you have your certification, you can start marketing your services to potential clients. You can advertise your business at a local gym or fitness studio, or you can do some digital marketing and work with clients in their own homes.

12. Photography

For a hobbyist photographer to turn pro, it only takes one paid gig.

Wedding photography in particular can be a very profitable side business. You can also offer portrait sessions for families and couples, or specialize in a niche like pet photography. 

To get started, all you need is a decent camera and some editing software. From there, you can build a portfolio and start marketing your services on social media and side gig apps like Thumbtack.

13. Professional organizer

Are you organized and detail-oriented? If so, becoming a professional organizer might be the part-time business for you. 

You can help clients declutter and organize their homes, offices or even their digital spaces. You can charge by the hour or by the project, and you can offer package deals to clients who need more extensive help.

You can also consider creating your own organizing products - such as storage solutions or planners - and selling them online.

14. Airbnb host

If you have a spare room in your home — or better yet, a second property — becoming an Airbnb host can help supplement your income with relatively low startup costs. 

Of course, you’ll need to get your home ready for guests, create an alluring profile and respond promptly to inquiries. It’s not as easy as just listing a room and watching the cash roll in. 

Before you start an Airbnb business, make sure you understand the time commitment and calculate your own potential return on investment.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She focuses on retirement, small businesses, investing and taxes.

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Rachel Christian
Written by
Rachel Christian
Rachel Christian is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She's worked as a professional journalist since 2014, and her work has been featured in Business Insider, the Osceola News-Gazette, Evansville Business Magazine, the Mount Vernon Democrat, Evansville Courier & Press, the Winter Haven Sun and more. She has written extensively about retirement, investing, life insurance and other aspects of personal finance. In June 2021, she became a Certified Educator in Personal Finance with FinCert, a division of the Institute for Financial Literacy. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern Indiana.
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