*This article contains affiliate links.
Sometimes, simply imagining possibilities can show you opportunities that you’ve simply never noticed. Are you stuck in a rut? Do you want more income to cover all your bills, debts, and other expenses? Do you want to just branch off and do something different from the 9-5 rush, even if it’s only for the weekends? Try brainstorming for small business ideas and other ways to earn more income. You’re sure to find opportunities for making money on the side once you start searching for possibilities, so why don’t you start here for a little inspiration?
*Take note: These are ideas I got from a Monday morning brainstorming session. Just imagine the things you can think of on your own or with your friends when you have more time.
Making money on the side: Business Ideas and Other ways to Earn Money
1. Cooking? Sell pastries and street food.
To be unique, sell delicacies from other countries (just search the internet for recipes):
Philippines: Kakanin, Pastillas, Leche Flan, etc.
Japan: Mochi, Coffee Jelly, Sata Andagi, etc.
India: Gulab Jamun, Sohan Halwa, Misti Doi, etc.
(Try other countries with their unique food, or create new and interesting combinations.)
Try building a food stand: Hotdogs, Burgers, Dimsum, Gyoza, Rice Meals/Risotto, Kebabs, Falafel, Shawarma, Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, etc.
Try selling drinks: Coconut Water, Juice, Lemonade, Orange Juice, Fresh Fruit or Vegetable Juice, etc. (You can probably sell these at parks to joggers and other fitness buffs, but don’t limit yourself there!)
2. Photography? Sell your stock photos online (e.g. Become a Shutterstock contributor).
3. Drawing and Painting? Draw and paint for commissions (like in Drawcrowd.com, here’s my friend’s page as an example) or sell your work at art fairs. If you’re good at creating comics/manga, you can try selling your work at conventions.
4. Arts and Crafts? If you’re good at stuff like creating trinkets, pottery, knitting, sewing clothes, etc. you can sell your wares at sites like Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, etc. You can also sell them to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, sell them at your yard sales, or open a small boutique.
5. Gardening? Try growing a vegetable garden and selling your produce. An orchard is also great even if growing trees take years (my grandparents have a small one, and they harvest crates full of fruits every few months).
6. Writing? Create books and eBooks, write for magazines and newspapers, write for blogs and businesses as a freelance writer.
7. Blogging? Start a blog and earn money through AdSense (here’s my article on how I got my Google AdSense account approved). You can also sell your own products, create eBooks and video seminars, or you can sell other people’s products through affiliate sales. Here are some example links by the way (from Amazon):
8. Freelance and online work? Transcribe audio, teach international students English (or other language), etc. There are many websites for this like Upwork or Freelancer (just search the internet for ideas). Try joining survey websites too (for me, GlobalTestMarket worked).
9. Direct Selling? Makeup, Health Supplements, Electronics, Life Insurance, Gear and Gadgets, you name it and you can probably join a sales company and sell on commission.
10. Martial Arts or Yoga? Meditation Arts (Chi Gong, Nei Gong, etc.)? Fitness? Try getting certified as a trainer and start your own class or join a gym as an instructor.
11. Are you an expert in a certain field or topic (business, executive leadership, architecture, etc.)? Become an instructor, teacher, or consultant.
12. Home repair? Carpentry? Car repairs? Babysitting? House cleanup? Yard trimming? House painting? You can likely offer these services to your neighbors for money.
13. Can you make good videos? Social commentary, cooking, singing, funny stuff, skill tutorials (Parkour, etc.), music covers, etc.? Earn money with youtube! I also have a friend named Elie who streams artwork at Twitch (check out her channel here!).
14. Stock Trading? Forex Trading? Gather up capital, study the technicals and fundamentals, find a good broker and start trading!
15. Real estate? Buy up some land and build a condominium or some other form of rental property.
Try other ways to earn money depending on your location (These examples are good possibilities in the Philippines and other parts of Asia):
Prepaid Load seller
Payment Centers (“Bayad Centers” in the Philippines)
Some of these are easy, others are difficult, some of these you can probably do right now, while others need a lot more time, preparation, and training. Whatever the case, there are infinite possibilities you can explore so don’t limit yourself by saying “I can’t” to everything. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You just have to find it.
Now start Thinking:
What can you do to make more money?
More importantly: What do people NEED that you can provide (for a price)?
Grab a large piece of paper and start writing. List down all ideas that come to mind, no matter how strange or weird (yes, part time party clown, skydiving instructor, tour guide, whatever works). You close off opportunities when you think that you “can’t” do it, but you can create them when you LEARN HOW to make it work. Who knows? You *might* just stumble upon something you love to do for the rest of your life, a business idea you can master and expand to earn far more than what you earn now, all because you wanted to think of opportunities on making money on the side.
Once you find something that you really want to try, the next step would be to plan your next steps and start.