Many aspiring entrepreneurs who begin new business ventures are seeking to transition from full-time work to self-employment. However, this is not the only way to live out your entrepreneurial dreams and own your own business. Some people are content with full-time employment and are interested in establishing their own company as a side project to bring in extra income or to simply expand their skillsets.
For anyone who wants to set up a side business, it can be beneficial to establish one that requires a minimal investment of time and funds. Below are five kinds of ventures that entrepreneurs looking to launch side businesses can quickly and affordably start themselves.
Social media consulting firm
While many large companies have in-house specialists to help them establish a strong online presence, a lot of small businesses can’t afford to hire full-time social media staff to interact with customers on major platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you have a comfortable level of familiarity with major social media sites and a knack for communicating with other people, a social media consulting company may suit your needs. Before starting a business, you could even consider supplementing your knowledge with online tutorials that will help you to develop the tools you need to create engaging content for small businesses on the Internet. Social media blogs such as Sprout Social can offer helpful step-by-step directions that will enable you to set yourself up as a social media consultant from home.
According to the ASPCA, U.S. citizens own about 78 million dogs and nearly 86 million cats, with about three out of five Americans owning at least one pet. Additionally, in 2017 American pet owners spent more money on caring for their pets than they ever have before, which means that the market is ripe for entrepreneurs who wish to open a business in the pet services industry. If you like animals, consider opening a home business as a pet sitter or dog walker. People love their pets and want to entrust their care to those who are dependable. Focus on building your reputation by offering your services to friends and family. You could also consider joining groups such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to establish your credibility. Make sure to research the legal steps you’ll need to take in order to protect yourself from liability before opening your business.
While starting a photography business may require more initial time and capital investment for people who are new to the art form, entrepreneurs who already own a high-quality camera and who have some experience in taking pictures may be in a good place to offer their services as a side business. There is a lot of interest in high-quality photographs for a wide variety of purposes, particularly in this age of social media. However, in order to become competitive with the growing number of photography businesses, you will need to build an online portfolio. Offering free photography sessions is a great way to build a portfolio that will provide potential clients with an idea of your style, approach, and talent. Once you’ve begun creating a strong portfolio, you can set yourself apart from amateur photographers by incorporating your business. In addition, you should consider offering a specialty beyond photographing people, such as nature or food.
Online consignment store
Since 2016, the majority of shoppers in the United States have made more purchases online than in brick-and-mortar stores. With this statistic in mind, online secondhand merchandise sales through websites such as eBay could be a simple yet potentially profitable home-based side business for a busy entrepreneur. While some people launch this kind of enterprise as a way to rid their homes of clutter, others take a more targeted approach to this business. For example, entrepreneurs may dedicate some of their free time to visiting vintage shops or thrift stores where they can find products at an affordable price before reselling them online. As with a photography business, focusing on a particular niche on sites like eBay can be helpful in selling vintage clothing, antique furniture, video games, or books. To get started, there are many smartphone apps that can help you to distinguish between items that have a high degree of value and those that don’t. For example, the Cash in the Attic app can help users estimate the value of antiques, while apps such as BookScouter are good for finding the resale value of used books.
Local tour guide company
If you live in a city that attracts a large number of tourists, you may be able to leverage your knowledge of the area to create a thriving part-time business. Starting a company that offers walking tours of the place you live in can be a way for entrepreneurs to not only make extra income, but also to show others the hidden beauty of their hometown. To get started with this type of business, you will first want to ensure that there are no local ordinances that will prevent you from offering tour services to visitors. You will then want to ensure that you conduct sufficient research to produce interesting facts about the history of your city in order to design a tour that highlights some of the things that make it unique. To recruit your first customers, you can contact your local visitors’ bureau to see if it will help you to connect with tourists, or sign up with websites such as Vayable.com to generate a clientele.