1. Create and sell chatbots to other business owners
You may not have heard of chatbots before, but chances are you’ve encountered them while browsing on the internet. Many websites will have a popup in the corner, prompting you to ask for help. This will lead to an automated conversation where the chatbot’s responses are based on keywords that you use. Chatbots can even be set up to interact with page visitors on Facebook Messenger. So as a small business owner, why should this matter to you?
Even if you have no experience with coding or web development, you can become an expert in creating and running chatbots for other small businesses. Many different types of businesses use chatbots to interact with their potential customers, and that means that there is a large market of individuals and companies who are willing to pay someone like you to fill that demand.
You can build a basic chatbot using sites like ManyChat, and then use it as a model to pitch your services to new customers. Depending on what kind of business model you have in mind, you can either set up your clients with a functional chatbot for a one-time fee, or you can set up a retainer where you consistently offer services to run and improve the chatbot based on client feedback and customer interaction.
2. Become an online fundraising consultant
If you’re interested in starting a small business that makes use of your excellent people skills and passion for making the world a better place, working as a fundraising consultant could be the perfect fit for you. It’s also one of the best side hustles you can start on your own. Help raise funds for non-profit organizations or special projects while making a good living for yourself too.
In order to work in this field, you may require a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, nonprofit management, or public relations. You might also need experience with fundraising and the necessary listening, verbal, and writing skills to build and maintain relationships with potential donors.
3. Get paid for educational blogging
Were you amazing at making study notes in school, and want to use those skills to fill the demand for educational content on the internet? Why not start a business where you can help people around the world with their educational needs? Blogging is just one of the many popular ways to earn money online. Whether it’s online courses, news and opinions related to your field, resources for college students, or lesson plans for parents who homeschool, there is a huge demand for digital content.
If you want to monetize your blog by using ads, affiliate sales, dropshipping, or selling your own products and services, you’ll need to learn the fundamentals of SEO to build a reliable source of traffic and ensure you’re ranking for the right keywords so that people can find you when they search for your services online
Make use of your network by promoting your new blog on social media channels like Instagram for Business and reaching out to friends, family, and peers to share your small business idea. Then reach out directly to parent groups or advertise and local colleges and universities, depending on who your target audience is and where they hang out.
4. Use your education to teach classes online
Whether you know it or not, you probably have a ton of real-world experience that you can translate into educational content for people who need help with school. In fact, even if you don’t have any idea what you could teach, you can look up what services are in demand and become an expert in a matter of days using the internet. You could even take a course online and use the notes you take to create your own lesson plans.
First, you need to figure out what you will provide and how to make it worth paying for. Once you’ve done that, you can create your own online courses on a video platform like Udemy, which already has a built-in audience so that you won’t have to build your clientele entirely from scratch.
In addition to pre-recorded classes, you can offer live one on one or group tutoring, and you can even sell your lesson plans to other educations using resources like Teachers Pay Teachers.
5. Become a green app developer
Green apps are applications that focus on addressing environmental issues. These can include products like carbon footprint tracking apps, ride-sharing apps, fuel calculators, and remote power apps, among many others.
Whether you have a notebook full of great ideas for green apps, or just want to use your expert app developer skills to help visionaries bring their ideas to life, green app development is a field with many opportunities for small businesses.
You will probably need to have a degree in software engineering or a related field and be proficient in at least one of the most common programming languages in order to score the opportunities of your dreams.
6. Make money through social crowdfunding
If you have an idea for a creative project you want to pursue, like a filmmaking venture or a line of products to launch, social crowdfunding can be a great way to earn money for your small business through donors.
Once you have your business idea ready to go, use a crowdfunding site or create your own website donation page. Make use of your network and ask everyone you know to help you raise funds by donating or sharing your campaign.
7. Write and publish your own ebooks
You have a ton of knowledge that you can translate into profitable ebooks to bring in cash flow. Rather than investing all sorts of money into publishing a physical book, you can simply create a PDF document that consumers can download from your website or that you can send directly to their email address. Once you’ve put in the initial work to develop your ebook, you’ll be able to earn passive income every time a copy sells without having to lift a finger.
If you’re struggling to develop the idea that you think others would be interested in, search trending ebooks to conduct market research. Once you’ve decided on the content of your ebook, create an outline with chapters and topics. After you’re done translating your knowledge into book format, it’s time to edit your writing and focus on the design of your ebook through elements like colours, fonts, and images. Then it’s all about raising brand awareness and content marketing to reach new audiences.
8. Use your mechanical skills with auto detailing
You may not need a four-year degree, but starting your own auto detailing business takes more than just a knack for cleaning cars. You’ll need to get some technical training and hands of experience in an auto detailing shop so that you have the skills, knowledge, and cash flow to branch out on your own.
A good way to start your business without investing a ton of money upfront is by starting out as a mobile business rather than renting your own garage location. Then, as you build up your cash flow and a solid customer base, you’ll be able to invest in your business with confidence.
Auto detailing equipment like pressure washers, hot water extractors and towels can cost a lot of money. Be sure to register your business and open a business bank account to keep your finances sorted.
9. Offer babysitting services
If you have experience with babysitting kids, starting your own babysitting business is one more way to make money by setting your own rate. Aside from reliable transportation and a website or social media presence, the investment in a babysitting business is very low. It’s also a great job for students since you can charge a small fee per hour to babysit while getting your schoolwork done, and you can even babysit out of your own home.
If you’re serious about helping people take care of their children, eventually, you may consider opening up a physical location, where caregivers can drop their children off. The cost of running your own location will be higher, but so will the potential earnings.
10. Rent out a room in your home
Do you have an extra room in your house that’s not being used? You can rent it out as a side business. The bigger the room and the more amenities you can offer (i.e. a private bathroom and kitchen), the more money you will be able to make.
Think outside just renting a bedroom—many people are working from home and don’t have the space to create a home office in their own place. You could offer a home office space and set hours for when it will be available so your space is still yours when you want it.